We all know that having good technique is a must in Weightlifting, but where does posture come into play? In order to achieve proper technique you must be able to achieve certain postures that might feel hard, especially if your day to day posture is not on point.
How is your posture right now?
The most common posture pattern we see in today’s society is the “Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS)” as defined by Vladimir Janda.
This pattern leads to an internal rotation of the shoulders and a flexion of the upper back. Just the opposite of what we want for a good starting and overhead position during the snatch and jerks.
If you hold the UCS pattern during the start of a lift the bar typically travels away from the body and you will have to jump froward in order to receive the lift (does this sound familiar…?).
Therefore for achieving the correct path during the Olympic lifts there are some minimum physical requirements including: internal/external rotation of the shoulders and dorsal spine extension. The opposite of the UCS pattern we typically see.
If we reinforce a bad posture in our daily activities such as working on a computer, texting relentlessly on social media, then it can be a hard pattern to change.
Upper Crossed Syndrome in day to day standing
How it reflects when approaching the Barbell (Not an ideal start position)
Therefore what we need to have in mind is checking our posture regularly throughout the day, checking that our head is not forward, that our shoulders are back not rounded and that we actively lift our spine or touch the ceiling with the head movement so we are correctly aligned.
This will consistent readjusting will actually be more effective than doing one hour of fancy mobility exercises once a week in the gym and then forgetting about it the rest of the day.
Of course a good mobility session with massages, stretches and activation exercises will help but don’t forget about your posture when you are melted on the couch, bored in front of the computer or even coaching where you have to be standing for hours.
“Want to lift more weight? Make your fighting stance your everyday stance”
So if you want to stay healthy and lift big you have to build the foundation, check that your posture is on point and don’t forget your pre-hab exercises!
Author TJ Garcia: Progrm Coach and Physiotherapist.