Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

1. Deadlifting with a flexed spine- I am convinced a proper deadlift can cure cancer among many other things.  I am also convinced that an improper deadlift is the worst thing someone can do in a weight room.  The difference between a good and bad deadlift is gigantic and puts it at number one on this list for a reason.  If a kids back is anything but flat, it needs to be corrected immediately.  This is literally the difference between a kid knowing and not knowing how to use his hips to generate power and will carry over to everything if it is not fixed.

Corrective Cues: Big chest, push your hips back, keep your weight on your heels, take some weight off the bar.

2. Squatting with a valgus collapse of the knee- Everyone has seen a kids knee buckle when they squat.  This is actually not a knee issue and usually either a foot or hip issue.  Put an abduction band around the athlete’s knees and usually the problem will take care of its self. If this doesn’t work, it is likely a foot issue more likely found in someone with flat feet or weak arches.  If at the bottom of their squat their feet externally rotate then you will know that this is the case.  Tell them to “grip the floor with their feet.”

Corrective Cues: Spread the floor, push knees out, grip the floor, *use band,* grip floor with feet.

3. Bench Pressing with flared elbows- This applies to push-ups as well. This will lead to shoulder issues if not fixed.  Also, make sure they pull their shoulders back and use a lift so they don’t lose this retraction.  Quick and easy way to increase safety and how much weight is on the bar.

Corrective Cues: Tell them their arms are at 9 and 3, you need them at 8 and 4. (like a clock)

4. Shrugging rows- This will lead to caveman shoulders.  I have found the best medicine is to feel their scaps and make sure they can feel them squeezing together correctly.  Other common compensations include using the body to lean back and get the weight up as well as seeing their head poke forward like a turtle poking its head out of a shell.  Also make sure that they aren’t finishing the row by internally rotating their shoulder.

Corrective Cues: Bring shoulders back and down, feel it in the middle of the back, pull elbow to back pocket.

5. Short striding a lunge- Most kids are quad dominant and will want to take baby steps.  These are the kids you need to get on in warm-ups to loosen their hips up a little.  Get them to take longer strides and you will likely see the next compensation, forward lean to get up.  This is also due to tight hips and quad dominance.  The stretch they feel isn’t a bad thing.  Stay on them to maintain their posture to get the most out a lunge or strength will be added to dysfunction.  Watch out for a knee collapse with these as well.

Corrective Cues: Fix your posture, don’t lean forward, take a bigger step, grip the floor.

6. Lumbar extention on a plank- Or a push-up.  These are kids who will shrug up a push-up because they aren’t pushing their whole body up. This will be even more apparent with kids using resistance bands too heavy for them to do push-ups.

Corrective Cues: Tell them to brace like you’re about to punch them in the stomach, *lightly kick their stomach with your foot.*

7. Butchering a plyo- We start with box jumps to teach them how to land correctly.  They shouldn’t progress to anything harder if they can’t figure this out.

Corrective Cues: Land with hips back and shoulders over knees, land as quietly as possible, land how they jumped (quarter squat position)

8. Too much weight-  It’s hard to fault a kid on this but sometimes they need to check their ego at the door.  This leads to bad deadlifts, quarter squats, partial rows, even a kid who brings his shoulders to the dumbbell instead of the other way around on something as easy as a curl.

Corrective Cues: Pretty self-explanatory.

9. Reverse curling a clean- A clean is easily the most complex lift that we do and can be very daunting to teach.  The kids reverse curling will be the ones who need the most help.  A good rule to live by is if at any point on hang clean day you find yourself not coaching then you aren’t trying hard enough.

Corrective Cues: I linked to a good progression here.

10. Everything-   There are a million other things I could put here.  If there is a way to compensate, a high school kid will find it.  Take advantage of this time to improve a coach.  There is always something to nitpick and the more you coach, the better they will get and the more it will carry over come football season.

Corrective Cues: This blog, my phone.