A chain is only as strong as its weakest link!
You have probably heard this phrase several times. However, especially when it comes to sport and fitness it holds a great truth. Unfortunately, most of us athletes have more than ONE weak link in their movements. But where should a trainer or athlete start? Which weakness should be addressed first?
Step by step
It all depends on the shape of the individual flaws and their importance for the target movement. If, for example, there are several flaws in the execution of a push up then it is important to eliminate the flaw that is the gravest. If your hip is sagging, your elbows move too far outwards, and your chin touches your chest you should start with your core. Therefore, you should strengthen your abs and learn how to keep up your body tension to fixate your spine in a good and healthy position. Thus, the core would be your first construction site. It forms the foundation on which your limbs can work properly. The spine, however, ends at the neck so this would point you towards your next step. In the following, you can work on your elbows.
From joint to joint
With a squat this is totally different again.
If various flaws occur in this movement it often makes sense to start with corrections at the base. Which is the feet. Often times the flaws already start here. Due to a lack of flexibility in the ankle, the heel is lifted from the ground or the arch of the foot is not maintained which in turn leads to the ankle, or later the knee, to collapse inwards. According to the kinetic chain these flaws will subsequently move from joint to joint and lead to dysfunctions with significant effects. Thus, you better start with working on the correct three-point loading of your feet.
How do I identify these flaws?
In general, feedback plays an important role. You will get it primarily visually. With a mirror and my own body awareness I can control myself without the aid of a partner. However, it is important to note that you need to know a fair share of anatomical and biomechanical basics and have sufficient movement experience to do this all by yourself. If you don’t have that you should rather seek professional help. A good personal trainer or sport (physio)therapist should be able to perform an informed analysis with a trained eye, adequate testing, and analysis tools. Then, your construction sites can be identified and you know what you need to work on.
However, it is recommended that you take this step by step. The more things you try to do at the same time, the harder it becomes to implement it quickly and correctly. As often, less is more here.
If you have any questions about your movements, you know you have a flaw in a particular movement but don’t know how to fix it: contact us! We will try to help you as good as we can. You can write it in the comments below or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To finish with a piece of wisdom:
Never stop working and get functional,