In a new video on the Athlean-X channel, strength coach Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. lists five common exercises which he has found are frequently performed incorrectly, and which even experienced lifters might start doing wrong as they begin to fatigue. For each example, he provides insight on how to easily fix these flaws in your technique, to get the absolute most out of your workouts.
Full hip extension is required in this move, but as Cavaliere explains, what frequently happens is that people go into an anterior tilt, where their hip bones are dropped and tilting forward. This means that rather than the glutes muscles doing all the work as they should, you end up recruiting the lower back, which creates risk of injury. “You want to make sure you’re doing this at a posterior tilt, tucking your tail under,” he says.
“If you do your pullups with your knees crossed, you’re not doing your pullup as best you can,” says Cavaliere, adding that this creates “energy leaks”. Instead, he suggests pointing your legs out in front of you, which “creates a much more efficient transfer of power through your hands to lift your body up in space.”
Hand placement really matters here in order to avoid placing unnecessary stress on the shoulders. The instinct will be for the hands to drift forward with the fingers gripping the edge of the bench. More advisable is for you to plant your hands on the bench facing outward to the sides. “It’s a very subtle and simple shift,” says Cavaliere. “By doing this, I open my shoulders up, I get them into more external rotation… I’d argue that you get a better contraction in the triceps.”
Instead of hinging back like they should, to recruit the glutes, often people will do more of a squatting motion, bringing the quads into the exercise. Additionally, too much focus can be placed on moving the kettlebell through space, which is actually “just along for the ride” as you complete the hinging motion pattern.
Flaring the elbows out at a 90-degree angle is a common technique error in the pushup which Cavaliere has pointed out before. But this creates a much shorter distance for you to lift your body. “Our heads dive to the ground faster, giving us the illusion that we’ve actually reached the end of the rep when our triceps and our chest have actually had to do a hell of a lot less work,” he says. Tucking your elbows so that they’re around 45 degrees from the body will make the exercise more difficult, but also far more effective.
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