When the clock starts, we all have good intention of keeping great form and technique. However, because we all are human and not bionic, it is inevitable that fatigue will set in and form sometimes gets lost. During any WOD, you will hear coaches cue you to “Get your chest up”, “Drop your butt” or “Lower your hips” in order to get you back to that good form.

I know when I first started CrossFit, and a coach told me to “get my chest up”, I really didn’t know what they were asking me to do or what the lift was supposed to look like. I thought I was doing things right, but I soon found out after having lots of sore backs that I was not executing my lifts properly. It took me several months to back off of lifting heavy weights and dedicating my lifts to form and technique in order for me to really understand the cues I was being given.

I shot these pictures a couple of weeks ago during WOD, and I really appreciate Nick allowing me to share them. Nick has great form, and I happen to get these pictures of back to back lifts by accident. They are a great resource for visual images of the cues the coaches give, and I wanted to share them with you all.

In the first photo, Nick was setting up for a rep of clean and jerk (he already had several completed for this particular WOD)…take a minute to look at the picture, and see if you can see what the coach would see….

In this photo, Nick is out of position. The bar is too far away from his body to start (cue, “FEEL THE STEEL”), his hips are pretty high (cue, “LOWER YOUR HIPS” or “DROP YOUR BUTT”), and his back is pretty flat (cue “GET YOUR CHEST UP”). When an athlete is in this position, rather than lift with legs, the first thing that comes up is the hips/butt. This will completely change your back angle, making your back parallel or near parallel to the floor. This is bad, and if your back hurts after lifting, chances are, you lifted with your hips/butt first.

This picture is the very next lift.

I cued Nick to drop his butt and bring his chest up. Notice the difference in the starting position. His back angle is where it needs to be, his hips are lower and his legs are making contact with the bar. This is a good starting position and great correction mid-WOD! On this lift, Nick had a better lift that was much more efficient because he kept his back angle the same from the ground to his “pockets”, then got a big finish!

The next time you hear a coach yell at you to “get your chest up”, this start position is what we are asking for. The adjustments the coach is asking you to make seem subtle, but make all the difference in generating explosive power!

(Side by side view)

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