Ever hearthe same four cues in your fitness class and never understand what theyactually mean? Well, as an instructor, it’s important to know the classunderstand what I’m explaining and why the cues help you maximize your results,while keeping you safe. Here are four cues you’ll hear in your next class andwhat they actually mean.
Best wayto think of this is tension on your core. Less sucking it in, more bracing yourabs. As an instructor, I cue clients by telling them this, “if you were to getpunched in the stomach, and before I punched, you tensed up, hold onto thattension.”
Your trainer is always saying it, but you’re just not getting it. Well think of it this way: pretend your shoulders and your ears hate each other, keep them away from one another. It’s as if your shoulders are being pulled in the opposite direction of your ears. How do you do that? Stand tall, chest opens up, squeezing your shoulder blades together, activating your lats, and bringing your shoulders down. Like a switch, turn everything on and keep it all on throughout the exercises.
This ismostly used when squatting and/or lunging. When you’re squatting you want toactively push your knees out, this way the knees track your big toes. Samething when you get into a lunge, the knee of the front leg shouldn’t cave in.Sometimes we forget about this cue when we’re in these positions. The best wayto practice is to put a resistance band on your legs and focus on pushing theknees out, fighting the resistance of the band.
“Neck Aligned With Your Spine”
Last butcertainly not the least, neck hyperextension. As an instructor, I find this isa cue I use a lot. We all like to stare at ourselves in the mirror, but we can’tbe doing this all the time in the gym. There are times when it’s appropriate andthen there are times that it could put a strain on our necks.
For example,when in a deadlift position, you’re actively pushing your butt back. What is easily forgotten is that while theback remains flat, you should be lengthening with the crown of your head.Meaning, your neck is aligned with your spine. Hence, you are not checkingyourself out in a mirror, your chin is tucked as you hinge forward. If theweight is down you look down, if the weight is up, you look up.
Makingminor adjustments in form and technique, can create the ultimate difference. Inthe gym, we must move mindfully through exercise as to avoid any injury. Wemust exercise our minds as well as our bodies. Now, the next time you hear oneof these cues, you’ll know exactly what to do.