Most trainees like to think they’re killing it in the gym, but many are not as effective as they could be. One major component that determines your success is how you execute each rep. Exercise technique is also a big factor that can influence your injury risk, but most important, it will determine if all your hard work results in you looking like Thor or Zach Galifianakis. Whether your goals are to be as strong as Captain America, built like Thor or to jump like the Hulk, your technique needs to be close to perfect.
Increase your effectiveness in the gym by putting your technique to the test with these four tips.
Technique Test 1: Squat Pattern
The barbell back squat is traditionally seen as a “basic” lift, however, it is commonly performed incorrectly.
>>> Insufficient depth
>>> Rounded back
>>> Valgus (inward) knee collapse
Technique Fix Tip: THE GOBLET SQUAT
>> Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest lengthwise with your elbows pointing downward
>> Sit in between your feet while keeping your chest up/out
>> Squat ass-to-grass with your hip-crease below your knee-crease
>> Finish with your elbows on the inside of your thighs
>> Allow your torso to lean forward slightly to maintain balance over your mid-foot
>> Do not allow your back to round forward - stay tight and strong in your core throughout the exercise.
Over several weeks, progress to the heaviest dumbbell you can find. Not only is this challenging, but also, banging out perfect Goblet Squats with 125lb is pretty bad-ass. The motor patterns, mobility and stability you’ll develop will set you up for wicked front and high-bar back squats.