Do What, Why?

So I’m sure all of you have heard one of your coaches give you a cue (push your knees out, chest up, fast elbows) at some point. Hopefully you have stopped and asked yourself (or us) why we are telling you these things and why they are beneficial. If not, here are a couple of the most common cues we use and why we use them.

1. “Push your knees out”- any movement that requires you to bend your knees you should be pushing those knees out (squats, box jumps, snatches, deadlifts). Some of the benefits of pushing your knees out are as follows: external rotation of the hip, which allows your hips to open more and achieve a deeper squat and allows for more force to be generated from the hip joint; and it will aid in disallowing your feet to flatten, which will improve strength and stability through the feet and ankle joints. (Morrison, 2012)

2. “Chest Up”- another cue that applies to many of the movements we do (deadlifts, squats, KBS, cleans). Keeping your chest up aids in arching your lower back and maintaining the curves of your spine. The human spine is capable of accommodating very heavy loads if held in the proper position. Keeping your chest up will not only help avoid injuries, it will also allow you to move more weight in a more efficient manner. (Hendricks, 2012)

Remember, the time you spend in the box is training time. Not only are you training to become stronger, faster, and more powerful, but also to move safely and efficiently. So next time you hear a coach give you a cue, heed their call. We only have your best interest in mind. And if you ever have a question as to why we are telling you something, please ask.


Morrison, B. (2012). Shove Your Knees Out. Lift Big, Eat Big.

Hendricks, A. (2012). Perfect Posture: Protect Your Spine with Proper Posture. Aurora Health Care Sports Medicine.

One Response

  1. Shane says:

    Nicely done.

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