”Don’t let your knees pass your toes when you squat”
”Your back must always be straight when you lift”
”Don’t jump down from the box, your Achilles tendons will break”
Yes, that sounds correct and reasonable you might think and while you nod in agreement at the breakfast table or where ever you are reading this. Because this is things we probably all heard sometime, from the instructor in the class, from our PT, on an internet forum or from our friend who workout almost two times a week and therefore is an expert at everything that have to do with training. So then it must be true, right?
Then you might think that I’m completely wack if I say that all that is bullshit, right? You can of course believe what you want, but at least I’m gonna do my best to with the 1993 letters I have left to least ways consider the thought that your body is actually capable of more than you think and that the right technique maybe is a bit overrated. If I would fail, sad, but it won’t be me who are limited in my way of moving.
Because this is something that frankly makes me sad. There are so many rules of how we should and should not train that I experience that a lot of people are getting scared of moving. But just wait a moment before you start to push your knees forward, pull heavy deadlifts with a flexed back and jump down from everything you see, first let me explain myself. I don’t propose that there shouldn’t be any rules, I’m proposing that you should listen to your own body and how it wants to move.
For a beginner it can of course be nice with guidelines. It gives a structure and safety to stick to, so learn the foundations, but don’t get to attached to them for to long. After a while you can start to explore, play with the boundaries, listen more to your own body and move accordingly to what feels effective and good for you. Our bodies are different, so what works for me might not work for you. Finally, break the rules! With the right preparations your body is ready to take on what you previously thought was wrong. Don’t let any rules limit you and make you afraid of moving.
Because if you think about it next time you walk down a stair, where are your knees then? Should we be afraid of walking down the stairs because it’s dangerous for our knees to pass the toes? When you are lifting your children or food bags, do you prepare yourself with a abdominal pressure and set your back to a straight line before you lift? Children jump all their childhood without breaking their Achilles tendon. It’s when we become old and stop jumping that the damage can be done if we at some point just tries again without being prepared. So if you prepare your body for all these positions it will learn how to handle them. Let your body move in all the ways it’s capable of. There is no bad movements, it’s about load, volume, frequency, preparation, progression and how your body looks like. Don’t be afraid of movement.