The Importance of Foundations in Lifting

Just yesterday I first started listening to a podcast run by Doctor Aaron Horschig and it really opened my eyes to a whole new level of detail within sports science and physical therapy. There are over fifty episodes to get through, and although I am only on number five I have learnt a lot already. In the first episode that I listened to he introduced the podcast and explained the layout of future episodes. Dr Horschig then moved on to talking about the foundations of lifting and the mindset that goes behind it. This quote from Louie Simmons really hot home with what was being discussed.

“A pyramid is only as tall as it is high”

This might not seem like much, but it is great wisdom when it comes to lifting sports. No matter whether you take part in cross-fit, power lifting or weightlifting this applies to you… and here is why. Think of the base of the pyramid as your technique- the very basics of your lift. The top of the pyramid is your max effort- that giant squat you know you have. But despite what you may think and what people may tell you, the bottom of a pyramid is just as important as the top.

Inverted Pyramid.jpg
A Mario inspired inverted pyramid

As this handy diagram shows, and as any architect will tell you, an inverted pyramid is an impossible structure. Not firstly because it is floating, but also because with the slightest bit of wind it falls over. Making a return to reality now- if your huge squat at the peak of the pyramid dominates the technique based bottom of the pyramid then you are opening yourself up to injuries. The severity of the injury vary enormously but if you weigh up the risks, what would you rather have… a brand new heavy lift for your Instagram power lifting page and joints that have been ground to dust? Or a lift that is less impressive and will not receive thousands of likes but joints that continue to work well into old age? The choice is yours.

If you think you come under this category then do not worry- you can help yourself. And even if you do not think you do then carry on reading. I might surprise you.

Because of the amazing way the body works any discrepancies that you may have strength wise or technique wise will not be visible on the surface. To find the issues you need to find a way of exposing them. The way that Dr Horschig revealed these issues was by observing people perform a two legged and one legged body weight squat. The reason for this is simple- every athlete should be able to perform a good looking body weight squat. If you can not then there is an issue. I will not enter into the world of issues that a lifter could encounter when performing these “tester lifts” as the list is very very long. However, it could be in the works and expect something in the diary (on the home page) very soon.

This entire article was inspired by Squat Universities podcast, if you have not heard of them or want some way to access the hugely informative content available for free then just click the link. On the website you will find links to Dr Horschigs book, podcast, YouTube and Instagram.

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