To get the most out of your workouts (and prevent injury!) its important to do exercises correctly and safely. But sometimes, that’s hard to accomplish. “Where am I supposed to feel this again?” is a common thing I hear when I am personal training my clients. One of the best ways to combat this is by using form cues. A form cue prompts your body to perform exercises in the right manner. They allow you to use the correct muscles associated with an exercise, fully engage supporting muscle groups, and maximize your workout. So, the next time you’re in the gym workin’ on your fitness, keep these cues in mind.
1. Shoulders Down. Keep Them Away From Your Ears
This is a good one to use during exercises like lat pulldowns. You want to imagine your scapula moving toward your back pockets.
2. Tighten Your Core
Or you might hear, “Engage Your Core”. But how do you even do that? I like to imagine that I’m bracing myself for a punch to the stomach (please don’t have anyone punch you in order to test this out). It’s almost like wearing a tight belt or a corset around your waist.
3. Squeeze a Grapefruit In Between Your Shoulder Blades
I use this cue to maintain an active shoulder positioning during a plank. While in plank position, engage your core (see above) and make some grapefruit juice.
4. Rip the Floor Apart
This cue is great for squats. Imagine ripping the floor apart with your feet. This allows your hips to externally rotate. It will help you maintain tension throughout your squat sesh.
5. Knees Out
Ever notice your knees caving in while squatting? That’s a no-no! Tell yourself to drive your knees out. Don’t let them collapse inwards.
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from NFPT.com