Written by Zach Even-Esh
Technique is King… or Queen, depending on who you’re talking to. The understanding of where your body needs to be to produce maximum force while reducing chances of injuries are critical.
This has always been on my mind: how to help athletes understand body positioning as well as reducing chances of injury while training AND in sport. It hit home for me big time when an experienced group of CrossFit Coaches took my Underground Strength Coach Cert and I ran them through a couplet of Trap Bar Deadlifts and jumps.
The trap bar was a foreign piece of equipment for a lot of these coaches and I saw Coaches making the common mistakes that new athletes make:
– Rounding the lower back
– Not keeping the shoulders retracted, even at the lighter sets
– Lack of trunk stability
– Hips shooting through & wobbling at the top of the trap bar deadlift
The body must be tight in ALL areas. When I coach, I emphasize full body integrity, squeezing the entire body from head to toe. During push ups, our hands squeeze the floor, the feet are together, legs are tight, abs are locked in place and what is seen as an upper body exercise for the pushing muscles now becomes a full body exercise.
Learning full body integrity helps you increase strength and improves your learning curve for all exercises. If you understand this concept AND apply this concept, then learning a tire flip, any deadlift variation, overhead pressing, etc becomes easier and even more important, it becomes safer.
In this video below I explain more about full body integrity as well as why I like to utilize various training tools to teach our athletes to build “smarter” muscles, muscles that are prepared for stress from a variety of angles, not just a basic straight bar.
Common Mistakes To Avoid To Ensure Full Body Integrity:
– Do NOT dip down before lifting the bar. A deadlift is exactly that. A dead lift, no momentum is made before lifting the bar. Once you set your trunk tight and position your body and have the arms straight, do not dip down quickly and then try to lift the weight / object. The body should be flexed and tight. I’ve seen this “pre dip” performed on tire flips and deadlifts and it almost always causes the lifter to round their back. This is where injury chances increase big time.
– Avoid “slack” in the hands and feet. Understand how to torque your feet and hands to produce full body tension and integrity. Kelly Starrett talks about this often when squatting, benching and deadlifting as does Mark Bell. When deadlifting, you can grip the bar tightly and try to externally rotate the hands. Do the same with your feet, screwing them into the ground creating torsion through the hips. When you do this, your body now works together as a unit as opposed to only upper body or only lower body.
– Don’t rush the set up on big movements: tire flips, deadlifts, squats, benching, etc. As you get more advanced you move quicker through the set up but if this is new to you, take your time and dial in your technique.
The key to strength is dialing in your technique. People with shitty technique eventually hit a wall with their gains.
Please share this article and drop a comment below with what you’d like to see next from me and I’ll make it happen.
BIG thanks for digging in and stay tuned for more!Zach’s inspiration in training comes from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding & Days of Old School Strength. His mission is to help You kick ass & take names in Life AND Lifting without the hype, fancy fads or gimmicks. Zach’s Commitment To Your Success Is Unmatched. He Knows What It’s Like To Go From A Weakling To An Unstoppable BEAST In Charge Of His Life, Business & Destiny. Zach Made It Happen Through The Iron and Now it’s Your Turn! Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter