12 Oct 6 Cues That Will Make You Move Better
Be good to your body and your body will be good to you – no matter how hard you push yourself.
Movement has always been a massive part of my life.
I’ve been involved in sports in some shape or form for two decades, be it football, fighting, or general fitness training. My philosophy was similar to many young aspiring athletes – go hard or go home. Train until you can’t go any more, then go some more.
It sounds cool, but in reality it left me with a broken body that didn’t work as well as it could. Rounded shoulders, a cricked neck, lopsided hips and battered knees.
I’ve spent the past few years attempting to undo the damage that I caused myself, and I’m currently training to be a personal trainer, with the goal of specialising in mobility and rehabilitation.
Here are some of my favourite movement cues that I’ve picked up so far that remind me to move correctly and safely.
If you want to move better, keep reading.
1. Shoulders away from your ears.
So often we’re hunched over, be it at the computer, or just standing. We then carry this habit into everyday movements, including things like the pullup and dip. This puts the shoulder at risk of injury, and reduces the amount of force you can put out.
So keep those shoulders back and down, away from the ears.
2. Squeeze your butt.
We spend a lot of time sitting on our glutes. After a while our body doesn’t think they’re that important any more, so it responds accordingly and shuts them down.
The glutes actually play a major role in supporting the pelvis and allowing you to walk properly, so it’s important they’re firing correctly. Make sure they’re turned on before you try to lift anything heavy or compete in your chosen sport.
3. Core on ten percent.
The core supports the spine and allows you to maintain a healthy posture.
Make sure it’s always switched on a little bit, braced for any sudden change in direction or speed that might pop up unexpectedly.
4. Knees out/knees not in.
This is a great one for when you’re coming up from the bottom of a squat or a deadlift, or landing from a jump.
Often the tendency is for the knees to drop inwards, which places the knee in an unstable position and increases your chances of an ACL tear. Drive those knees outwards (or at least, not inwards) to reduce that risk.
5. Screw your feet into the floor
Although it may look so, squatting or lifting a weight from the floor isn’t just about the up and down forces – if you really want to use your body to it’s full potential, you should also be looking at how you can develop torque.
This is done by screwing your feet into the floor, externally rotating as your drive upwards. If you had plates underneath your feet, they would spin outwards.
This significantly increases your force potential, and puts your body in a safer position.
6. Break the bar
Again, this is to do with that torque force generated through external rotation, this time through the upper limbs.
Whenever you’re pressing a weight out in front of you or overhead, or indeed performing a pullup or row, you can increase the force potential by adding an external rotation component. This results in an ‘outwards twist’ motion, or breaking the bar.
What are some of your favourite cues for moving your body better?
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