Arch your back, what it really means.

At the point when you’re in position and ready to pull, push, squat, curl, dead lift or whatever some one may say to you to arch your back. You may read this somewhere online or in a book. We need to address the concept of an “arched back.” When you read exercise instruction in most magazines and online, they’re constantly telling you to keep your back “arched” throughout every exercise in order to maintain correct form. This, however, is very misleading.

The concept of arching your back comes from powerlifting, and you have to be mindful of the body types you’re dealing with there. When you’re telling a 300 pound behemoth to arch his back, what you’re really suggesting is that he simply keep his back straight, with a neutral spine. With most guys that size, there’s no way in hell you’re going to see any appreciable arch in their backs—primarily because of the size and thickness of their spinal erectors.

Conversely, when you’re dealing with someone more flexible—a hard-gainer, or someone who’s been doing yoga—it makes no sense to tell them to arch, because they’re already able to make their shoulder blades touch their ass. This is a very bad muscle pattern, and it’s not something you want to encourage. The idea, then, is to tighten your lower back, to keep a neutral spine, and to have your head either directed at the floor, or at a slight upward angle. You don’t want to hold your chin up in the air here.

Once everything is nice and tight, your back is flat and neutral, and you are good to go. Have someone check your form and to make sure you are not over-arching.

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