I love learning, I read 1-2 books every week, usually non-fiction on business, marketing, strength and conditioning or nutrition…but occasionally I’ll read some fiction – it really helps my brain to switch off after a hard day of work!
So why do I learn? Because I have a lot of goals that I want to achieve in my life and at the moment, I don’t know how to achieve them as fast as I’d like. This is where most people would jump back and give up. If you don’t know how to do something, does that mean you won’t achieve it? Of course not! You just learn how to do it, work hard and the results will come.
Right now think of your goals; lose a stone, deadlift 300kg, perform 100 press-ups or whatever it is. Now ask yourself these two questions:
1. Do I know everything I could possibly learn to achieve this goal?
2. Even if I think I know how to achieve this goal, is it possible that I’m taking the wrong approach and could do with learning a new method?
You see, learning is an indirect way of achieving your goals….the other key is taking action. You need to do both!
So to help you out with some knowledge, here are the best things I’ve learned recently:
YOU CAN ARCH TOO MUCH IN THE LOWER BACK:
- When deadlifting or doing lower body strength movements, a good arch in the lower back may be TOO much of an arch. It may be hyperextension of the lumbar spine.
- This can be quite slight too, so keep an eye on your technique (ask someone or video yourself with your phone).
- Your spine should be in the same position when bent over as it is when you’re stood up. Neutral and supported by the abs and back muscles.
- A good indication of an excessive arch is an extreme hamstring stretch in the bottom position and a dull tightness in the lower back during or after the workout.
PRACTISING MOVEMENT EACH DAY WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER:
- Drop into a squat position every morning, afternoon and evening. Daily. Your body learns to hold that bottom position and you’ll feel when your muscles are too tight and need stretching, you’ll also feel when you’re ready for a tough workout.
- Holding tough positions multiple times a day, like yoga positions or tough isometrics like the bottom of a press-up or one-arm press-up will develop strength really quickly. You don’t have to kill yourself either.
- Personally, I practice pistols (one legged squats) twice a day, every day, to work on my strength. Then some variation of a press-up, e.g. spiderman press-up, hindu press-up, handstand press-up etc to work on my mobility/balance.
These two things could make a big difference to the way your main workouts feel!
So remember: Try keeping your spine tight and straight when you lift, or keep an eye on the people you coach to make sure they’re ok. Then practice 1-2 movements daily (either for strength or mobility).
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