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The feeling and sight of the body gaining strength and power is highly satisfying.
What is frustrating is when these improvements plateau, or worse still, pain and injury get in the way of training. The common injuries in powerlifting are commonly caused by technique faults that can be prevented. These technique faults can also inhibit performance and are therefore the cause of plateaus in improvement progression.
Here are the top three and how to avoid them:
NB All pain must be fully diagnosed and technique adjustments must only be made under the guidance of your Physiotherapist or Osteopath
This can range from muscular aches to more serious joint or disc injuries that can cause neurological symptoms like tingling, numbness and weakness in the legs. This must be fully assessed by your Physiotherapist or Osteopath before continuing training.
COMMON TECHNIQUE FAULT AND HOW TO CORRECT IT: When squatting, deadlifting or anything involving bending the hips and knees the lower back should retain its natural concave curve. This can be achieved by visualising tipping the tail bone upwards behind you particularly as the hips move closer to the ground. Specific training of the deep abdominal muscles and back extensors can help to maintain this posture. See this video for an example of how to practice maintaining your spinal curvature whilst tipping from the hips.
These range from shoulder impingement syndrome to damage to structures such as the long head of biceps tendon, supraspinatus and the sub-acromial bursa, as well as problems with the acromio-clavicular joint.
COMMON TECHNIQUE FAULT AND HOW TO CORRECT IT: Technique can be improved by training the scapular stabilisers which hold the shoulder blade in the correct position and therefore allow the stability muscles of the ball and socket joint of the shoulder – the rotator cuff muscles – to work optimally. When doing any movements where the arm is not moved above shoulder level (pushing or pulling) the shoulder blade should not move forwards. When looking at the alignment of the shoulder from the front, its upper contour should form an upward curve (smiley face) not a downward curve (unhappy face!)
The small intervertebral discs, facet joints, nerves and blood vessels in the neck can become irritated if this part of the spine is not held in the correct position whilst training, or sitting at your desk. This causes neck pain, headaches and symptoms such as pins and needles or pain in the upper back and/or arms.
COMMON TECHNIQUE FAULT AND HOW TO CORRECT IT: When doing any upper body or lower body resistance exercise the neck should be held in neutral, this is with a very slight concave curve. Most commonly the chin is lifted away from the body squashing the structures at the top of the back of the neck and stretching structures at the front. This can be corrected by gently tucking the chin in and elongating the back of the neck.
Mild neck pain and/or tightness that comes on slowly is commonly due to the upper back rounding forwards and the chin pointing forwards and upwards, which increases muscle and nerve tension and may cause pins and needles or pain in the arms and hands. Sometimes, breathing becomes restricted due to...Read More
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The thoracic spine – middle and upper part of the back - is the stiffest part of the spine due to the ribs attaching here, but it commonly becomes too stiff as a result of poor postures. Please click here to learn correct sitting posture. Thoracic spine stiffness puts more...Read More
Pain behind the shoulder, behind or around the shoulder blade and/or in your upper back/neck is not strictly speaking a shoulder problem because the pain is probably coming from the back or neck. However, lots of people refer to it as shoulder pain because thats where the discomfort is felt....Read More
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Please read how the knee works before reading the following. ITB friction syndrome causes pain at the outside of the knee and may be accompanied by stiffness, giving way or a clicking sensation and is commonly worse when running, going downhill or down stairs and tender to touch. The ITB...Read More
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Please click here to read how the shoulder works before reading the following. The lats are often tight and over active relative to the smaller shoulder muscles like the rotator cuff muscles.Read More
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Please read how the neck works before reading the following. The effect of gravity on the head is that it moves down and forwards, away from the body. As a result of the head being lowered it then has to be rotated upwards in order to look straight forwards not...Read More
Please click here to read how the shoulder works before reading the following. It is essential to reposition the shoulder joint correctly, which you must do under the guidance of a physiotherapist to make sure you dont do more damage. The most common incorrect position is the shoulderblade being held...Read More
Please click here to read how the knee works before reading the following.Read More
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