LUKA KOVACEVIC: In my opinion, top pros like you, if do something by using theoretically not a proper form, should always mention and explain it. Something like: “Hey guys, this can interfere with your breathing pattern and could give you a neck/low back discomfort the least after a while (shoulder impingement etc…), but it works totally fine FOR ME.” I understand that there is maybe no perfect-form-fits-everyone but some rules that make sense exist. I understand that using compensatory moves makes it easier, but “robotic” (more proper) technique works better overall and it’s the harder way in the beginning for sure – but better for LONG TERM health in my opinion. I don’t accept that one of the best experts in the field performs exercises like an average gym lifter 🙂 . I mean on compensatory moves in general (forward head p. – machine shrugs and lateral raises mostly… along with low back compens.; military press – excessive low back extension in my opinion – which is not good under almost max load; bench press – hyperextension with moving head off the bench and back… non ideal whole body working flow in general). We also know that people who have no good scapular upward rotation and weak rot. cuffs compared with delts could experience tendon impingement or similar discomfort during upright rows with full ROM (although it’s probably better for fuller gains than partial ROM – but upper traps take over movement above horizontal so…). I saw your great video on “butt wink” but I see you are doing a lot of deeper squats with faster ecc. phase and pretty much weights on your back. I know that’s better for gains and EMG shows pretty good activation of some another useful muscles on that way but do you think it’s safe when it comes to LONG TERM health of your spine (I know that Olympic lifters are brutal but question is the same)? Do you think that you should mention some short tips at your Instagram posts? Because there is a lot of people who will mimic you. Visual generation need short tips because they will mimic everything non critically (it’s important especially for beginners).
BRET CONTRERAS: Sometimes I go heavier when training back and let my form/posture go a bit cray like this, other times I go lighter and stricter. I rarely get upper body injuries so I don’t worry about being ultra strict. If I wanted pristine form, I’d just go lighter and build up gradually while sticking to those mechanics. But there is no ideal form for everyone and this form works for me (I don’t ever get hurt in the upper body). Been training this way for 25 years. When am I gonna crumble? Many powerlifters do move head up during bench pressing. Doesn’t hurt anything. It’s like looking up in a deadlift. Maybe not the best thing in theory but not a big deal. I’m stronger this way so I roll with it. People shouldn’t purposely do it. It’s just habit for me but it doesn’t hurt anything so I roll with it. Sure, it’s probably safer – but nobody really hurts themselves benching this way. If someone has hyperextension related pain then absolutely avoid it. Head not pushing through at the top of the reps on military is optional as far as I’m concerned. Moving the head up and down during shrugs… again no big deal. “Butt wink” – no big deal if it’s not excessive. Don’t be one of those Uber-strict types who thinks that any deviation from robotic form is highly dangerous and overly-risky. Yeah, shoulder abduction with internal rotation can be problematic for many people.
LUKA KOVACEVIC: Guys, the next time you think looking up in a deadlift isn’t a big deal read a great article HERE.
Bret Contreras, PhD (sport science) is considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training. He has turbo-charged the fitness industry by introducing effective new exercises and training methods for optimal glute development.