Instant Movement Upgrade
There’s a concept we teach to clients to help them understand skill transfer or how different movements relate to one another. The idea is stacking joints. This is a robust, stable way to move and will give you insights as to other movements relate to one another.
We know the best way to do a push up is to have your elbow directly over your wrist. Not only at the top plank position, but also on the bottom portion of the movement when your elbow is bent. This joint stacking, allows for maximum production of force. The positions where we can display the most strength are, not surprisingly, the safest positions to execute movements.
Let’s take another similar movement, the bench press, and apply this logic. While bench pressing, I start with the bar directly over my wrists, and therefore my elbows and shoulders. When I lower the bar in a slight arc, I want to see a vertical forearm on the bottom. That means, my elbow is directly underneath the wrist. Once again, this position gives us the best lever to produce the most force and safely to raise the bar back over our shoulders.
Another movement we can dissect is the inverted row. On the bottom position, we’re in an upside-down plank. My hips open, legs straight, arms straight and shoulders engaged - just like the push up. When I pull, I bend my elbow and retract my shoulder blades, similar to the lowering of a push up. At the top of the row, I should see stacked joints. Forearm perpendicular to your body with wrist directly over the elbow.
If we don’t see this vertical forearm position or stacked joint position not only are we leaking performance, we’re increasing the likelihood of injury by compensating our movements.