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Good posture is required to perform most weightlifting exercises.
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Weightlifting requires good posture to perform the work, which minimizes the risk of injury while maximizing your performance. Most weightlifting exercises require you to maintain a neutral spine, referring to the natural curvature of your vertebral column. This helps to distribute a proper amount of pressure and force upon your body. Even if you have poor posture, you can still perform most weightlifting exercises well as long as you have proper movement and breathing techniques.
The deadlift is a hip-hinge movement pattern that uses your buttocks and legs to help you lift a heavy weight off the floor. This requires a stable spine and abdominal region to keep your torso and shoulder girdle in place to avoid torque in the spine. Use a kettlebell instead of a barbell because you can place it closer to your center of gravity and it's handle is easier to reach. With the kettlebell placed on the floor between your feet, stand with your feet about shoulder-distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge your torso forward at your waist as you grab the kettlebell firmly with your right hand. Do not round your spine. Exhale as you thrust your hips forward and straighten your legs, bringing your torso upright and the kettlebell off the floor. The weight should be hanging in front of you near your groin with your right arm extended. Inhale as you lower the weight to the floor by hinging your torso forward and bending your knees slightly.
Like the deadlift, squats require you to maintain a neutral spine to perform the exercise as you raise and lower your body. Front barbell squats and dumbbell squats place the load closer to your center of gravity than the traditional back squat, which brings your torso in a more upright position. Always inhale as you squat down and exhale as you stand up. This breathing pattern keeps your abdominal region stable to prevent your spine from moving as you move. Before you pick up any weights, practice the squat with your own body weight first.
Chop and Lift
The chop and lift work on spine and hip stability as you move your arms and shoulders in a diagonal pattern. Both exercises require a cable column machine, resistance tubing or elastic band. The chop is moving your arms from a high position to a low position, while the lift is simply moving them in the opposite direction. The more stable your posture is, the more balance and force you attain when you move. Perform the chop and lift in a kneeling or half-kneeling position before transitioning to a standing position. The kneeling position increases pelvic stability, forcing your stabilizers in your abdominal region to maintain a tall posture as you move. Start with a light resistance to get familiar with the movement pattern before using a higher resistance.
Never attempt to perform any weightlifting exercises if you cannot control the movement pattern or perform them with proper form and technique. If your poor posture is preventing you from doing certain weightlifting exercises, work with a qualified exercise professional to address the underlying cause of your condition before you continue to lift. Sometimes poor posture can be defensive behavior to avoid pain, says physical therapist Tony Ingram, and no amount of exercise can correct poor posture. In this case, consult with a physical therapist before you continue to train.