The fastest way to take a step back in your training is to get injured.
Take a step in the right direction by improving your technique. Lifting with good form will not only allow you to lift more weight, it will keep you in the game for longer.
Both myself and my clients have had a TON of success using these simple strength tips.
Give them a try and practice, a lot!
1) Squat tip: Stay tight and upright.
Your upper body should be trying to go up the whole time during a squat. Whether you are going up or you’re descending, your upper body is driving into the bar trying to go up.
Brace and get tall into the bar. Drive your upper back as hard as you can into the bar!
Try to break the bar over you back, pull the bar in tight and pull your elbows to your lats. While doing this, pull your chin and your upper back through the bar.
This will make the weight feel lighter and create a tremendous amount of tension allowing you to stay extremely tight and upright during the squat.
2) Bench tip: Grip the bar tight!
Seems really simple and obvious…
But we all forget to do it. We grip it just tight enough.
Grip it tight into your thumb and as hard as you possibly can. Melt the bar between your fingers.
There are a variety of advantages to gripping the bar tight and it might be the simplest and easiest thing you can do to add pounds to your bench.
3) Bench tip: Use leg drive to create tension.
The bench press is not just an upper body movement. If your goal is to move as much weight as possible, learn to use your entire body!
Start by jamming your toes into the front of your shoes and driving your heels through the floor.
Flex your quads as hard as you can.
Push your knees out and squeeze your glutes together hard while keeping them on the bench. After doing this it should be very difficult for someone to move your legs.
You should be trying to push your head back into the wall behind you. You won’t actually move anywhere. Instead, you will be pushing your traps even harder into the bench, creating more tension.
If your goal is to push as much weight as possible, be as stable as possible. Learn to use leg drive and create as much tension as you can during your bench setup.
4) Deadlift tip: Melt your heels through the floor.
Once you’ve setup for the deadlift, the rest is easy.
Drive your heels into the floor as hard as possible and hump the bar by squeezing your glutes.
When you walk away after the lift there should be two imprints in the floor, one of each heel.
5) Pull-up tip: Pull with your elbows.
Think of your hands like hooks. They are only there to attach you to the pull-up bar, so grip it as tight as possible.
Pull your elbows into your lats, pulling your chest to the bar. This will help you initiate the movement with your back.
Lock your shoulder blades down. Pull them into the back pocket of your pants.
Be careful not to pull your elbows behind your body. If someone was standing behind you while you’re doing pull-ups, you should not elbow them in the head.
Pulling with your elbows can help you perform pull-ups and many other pull-up/chin-up variations more efficiently.
There are no secrets to getting strong. Stay healthy, be consistent, master these tips and watch your technique and strength improve.
Are you looking to get strong? Send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org with “STRENGTH QUERY” in the subject line.