POSTURE IS POWER
When we moved back to Minnesota a couple years ago, I enlisted a new personal trainer, Rob Duggan, owner of Northloop Fitness. I’ve been working with personal trainers or taking high intensity interval training HIIT classes for the past 4-5 years, so I came into this situation with him prettttttty confident in my skills. And my #1 goal? Skinnyness. I was used to going hard, for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week in these types of situations. I wanted to jump right in, and he had a different start in mind.
We spent the first few weeks moving slowly through certain exercises while he took his time to analyze my form and posture and critique what I was doing correctly and incorrectly in each position and in each workout. This infuriated me. I am very impatient and wanted to get right into the sweaty stuff (aka the stuff that makes you skinny). I quickly came to learn, however, that focusing on posture and stance made my workouts more efficient, and not to mention harder! Turns out my form might not have been as spot on as I thought.
Robbie's Posture Pointers
By Rob Duggan
RELAX YOUR SHOULDERS
We’re all somewhat “tense” people and without realizing it, we raise our shoulders and hunch up by our necks a lot of the time. Before starting any movement, sink your shoulders back, look straight ahead and elongate your neck. Open up the chest and just lift it up a bit. That automatically pulls shoulders back into a healthier, better, postural position. This is the position you need to/should be in when working out.
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. Surely, somewhere along the way of your workouts you’ve heard a trainer or instructor say to make sure your knees are not extended in front of your ankles when doing a lunge. But it actually applies to most leg workouts. Keeping your knees open and above your ankles improves your form. No matter which position or exercise you’re completing, make sure your hips, knees and ankles are aligned. Balance out the pelvis, keep air in the belly (bring it down from shoulders & chest) and use that air to lightly brace/stiffen the pelvis. That’s how you create stability.
Or, at the very least… unclench your face. Relaxing your face helps the move itself not feel so tough and allows you to focus the muscles at work, which doesn’t involve your forehead and cheeks. Breathe and move that tension into your body. This tension should be used for stability from your shoulders on down. Breathe this tension down into the lats and belly (trunk or core) for stability & efficiency.