“Stick your chest out, stick your butt out”
As trainers, it’s important to know that ingrained modesty can prevent some women from performing exercises with proper technique. It is completely normal for women to sometimes feel highly self conscious and on display when asked to perform certain cues, such as “lead with your chest”, “shoulders back, chest high”, “push your hips back”, and so on.
This weeks real [FIT] life quote of the week goes to Amy D. (who we fondly call “Big Rack”, just not for the reason you may think)
We have been working on Amy’s hinge pattern as well as her form for bent over rows and dumbbell Romanian deadlifts. These are some of the exercises in which women can feel a bit uncomfortable as the form requires us to position our bodies in ways that just feel “wrong” to some. And while good posture and body mechanics are necessary for everyone who lifts, some women have many years of ingrained modesty to undo in order to feel okay with these types of movements.
And that’s okay.
real [FIT] life’r Claire shows great form with shoulders back and chest forward
I try to make light of certain cuing (especially with women who are new) and help to lessen the awkwardness some feel, by frequently saying, when appropriate,
“It’s okay. You need to stick your chest out and stick your butt out”
I also reassure them that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and self conscious.
So yesterday, when I saw Amy performing a perfect hinge pattern and complimented her on her form, she immediately quipped back at me,
“If it feels wrong, I know it’s right.”
I about bowled over with laughter.
But her comment brings home an important point.
In order to practice good technique, we sometimes have to let go of what we think feels “right, correct, or comfortable”.
The things that are comfortable aren’t always the things that will serve us best.
And that is true for avid lifters of every experience level.
real [FIT] life’r Katie demonstrates tall, strong posture for her back squats
A good trainer will allow you the time to adjust at your own pace. Remember, as long as what you’re doing won’t get you hurt, it’s fine to set your own timeline for progress. No matter what the goal, new tasks rarely feel “normal” from that very first moment.
Different can be good, and what feels “wrong” may actually be right!
Jeannine Trimboli, CEO, real [FIT] life
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