4 Non-Traditional Lifting Cues

I was once the adult female brand spankin’ new to lifting so I am well aware of what gymtimidation looks and feels like.

Uneasy, scared of looking stupid, lost, unsure… it’s more than enough to keep the curious caged to cardio machines.

As a personal trainer and a studio owner it’s a HUGE passion of mine to make sure the fun and the benefits of weight lifting are ACCESSIBLE to EVERY ONE no matter their starting point.

So it’s in that spirit that I am narrowing down all the coaching cues possible to just 4 MAJOR NON-NEGOTIABLES we practice at Sweat that create big injury free results.

  •  1. CREATE YOUR CYLINDER: Lock your ribs and hips into a unit!  Important in a hinge, squat, plank, press,  pull.  In other words, this is EVERYTHING!

Usually you will hear and read about a “neutral spine” but using a visual for your brain is key to correcting form here.


If your core is not a cylinder in a static or dynamic movement you’ve entered injury territory at varying degrees!

Start over, deload, reconnect.

And here’s where people allow frustration to set in… they think basic is a synonym to easy!

They want to breeze past this but LOCKING the ribs and hips into a single plain of motion is the the basis for efficiency, safety, and super sexy power and strength.

Get in front of a mirror and LOOK and practice.

If you can’t achieve it then get flat against the wall and press!  Force the position to teach yourself safely what it feels like to be in a cylinder.

And I don’t care how big and luscious your booty is you can still get neutral.

  •  2.  STACK:  When you lunge I want you to look at the mirror and take a peek to see if your knees and ankles are sitting right on top of each other.


* start with a leg press… good there then… progress to a back lunge, progress to a forward lunge, progress to a walking lunge.

While lunges have many other cues STACKING is where everything can either go right or wrong.  Be nice to your knees!!!!

  •  3.  TOP JOINT BREAKS FIRST:  Don’t care what kind of squat you are doing and I am so over the controversy of what the “perfect” squatting position should be.

Regardless:  Break at the HIP first!!!  Do nothing with the knees until after you have already pushed your hips back about 15% degrees.  Your knees are not allowed to bend until after the TOP joint is ready to be loaded!!!!




When I watch folks squat (with ribs and hips stacked I might add) my eyes move DIRECTLY towards what their hips are doing.

Rookies will almost always break at the knees first which is OMG probably the reason “they can’t squat” and “it hurts my knees.”

If your knees bend first you have loaded up the knees.  Give that weight to those big wonderful glutes and thighs.

You do that by popping that butt back first (keeping your cylinder in place of course).

  • 4.  GUARD YOUR WRISTS– Important in planks, presses, pulls.  Wrist stacked over elbows stacked over shoulders in a plank.

*When pulling dumbbells or barbells, watch to see if you are gaining distance by “curling” the wrist inwards

* When pressing don’t stress the wrist by allowing the weight to bend your wrist back.

This joint is amazing but has ZERO business being weighted or pulled by weight.  PROTECT this joint it like you would your spine.  Stabilize it, don’t move it!

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Listen, I know hitting start on a cardio machine and moving for 30 minutes sounds like a super easy way to get a workout in.  And, honestly, this has it’s place in the workout world.

However, what I can’t have happen is anyone simply dismissing weight lifting because they feel like they don’t know what to do.

You are missing out!

On fun and on RESULTS!!!!

I want these 4 cues elevate what you are already doing and keep you injury free.

For my rookies, I want these 4 cues to give you the confidence you need to get on the gym floor and get your lifting in.

If you can get these 4 things right you will absolutely look like a badass on the gym floor.

And if you want to get coached and learn more, come to Sweat and take your free week or drop in this week 2 classes for $30.

Get to know our trainers and let our classes TEACH you form and technique so that all your efforts turn into major changes.


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