When I first started training people, nearly a decade ago, I ignorantly thought, that in order to teach people how to lift I just needed to learn the positions, learn how to demonstrate the lifts and learn a script of what to say (I did say “ignorantly”).

The thing is, exercise diagrams in text books are the map but they are never the territory.

Take for example something as simple as how wide to grip the bar on a back squat.

For some a grip just wider than shoulder width will provide that “tight” strong feeling between the shoulder blades that increases your confidence in the lift.

For others the same grip feels uncomfortable on the shoulders and encourages a forward lean (usually due to shoulder mobility or the length of the arm).

If you then want to create a more “text book” lift, developing mobility or flexibility may be the way to go, but in my view this is increasingly a BIG IF. Most of us want to find a way to progress our strength and muscle safely and effectively and there is always more than one way to do that and some valuable work arounds!

Spence

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