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3 Ways to Improve Your Technique

3 Ways to Improve Your Technique
August 24, 2018 Dan Raimondi

Technique is something we constantly work on. It’s like whack a mole- one problem is fixed only to have another crop up needing attention. If you don’t have access to a coach to give you real time feedback, here are 3 ways to refine your technique and improve your skill:

  1. Slow it down: I first heard this advice years ago from Landon Evans. The easiest way to teach a person something is to make them do it super slow. They have a lot of time to think about what’s going on and make corrections.
    • Pros: Easy to add into your current routine. Next time you squat try lowering the weight in 5 seconds and raising it in 5 seconds. You can do this with your warm up sets since this type of “tempo” training is hard with relatively heavy weights.
    • Cons: They’re hard. Your legs will feel like they’re burning, being strict with the count is difficult, and the amount of weight you can use is a blow to the ego.
  2. PauseSimilar to the tempo work in the first example, try pausing at a point you need to work on. 2 very useful movements are a paused squat and a paused deadlift. For the squat, especially for people who always go deeper than they need, pausing helps reinforce the bottom position. For the deadlift, if you struggle with keeping a rigid back off of the floor, or staying “over the bar”, pausing 1-2 inches off of the ground can help you learn the positions.
    • Pros: Easy to add into your current routine. Much like tempo work, you can do some of your warm up sets with a pause to reinforce the positions you need to work. Besides doing them in the warm up, both tempo and pause work can be done as their own exercises and trained in and of themselves
    • Cons: You (likely) won’t be able to use as much weight. It requires patience and focus, so don’t add them in expecting it to “cure” your form issues. You need to be actively focused on the task.
  3. EMOM: An acronym for “Every minute on the Minute.” I recently started doing these again after a hiatus and realized something very important. Doing lots of sets of 1 rep give you many “first reps.” Take 50-60{e18ed2371f09e71a3757b9c079724507f9c8fbf367ae51cfed9a8a84db31045b} of your max, and do 10-20 reps every minute on the minute. You have to practice your setup 10-20 times. If you take them seriously (even though the weight is relatively light) your form will improve. I personally like these for deadlifts, but they can be used for lots of different exercises.
    • Pros: Generally programmed for slightly lower intensities, and you know exactly how long it’ll take to finish. These can help dial in your technique because of how many high quality exposures you’ll get to setting up properly.
    • Cons: Because they’re generally much lighter and not being taken anywhere close to failure, probably don’t help much with developing muscle mass or strength as it pertains to lifting a heavy 1RM.