The fundamental position, key to all movements, in Hébert’s Practical Guide to Physical Education, is the Upright Stance. To get in it, follow these steps:
- Perform a complete and forced shoulder rotation by shooting them forward first, then lifting, then throwing them back, finally lowering;
- Produce effort in neck and chin (think of an isometric push backwards);
- Tuck in the stomach;
- Contract/Stiffen the legs;
- Downwardly extend the arms, forearms and hands.
This stance aligns the spine and neck, retracts the shoulder blades and the bracing helps you for strong lifts. Any which way your body goes, the straight line from the head to the tailbone is the constant, all other body parts or limbs moving represent the acute variables specific to the movement performed:
- Squatting: knee flexion is the main variable, and however loaded the body is, the back remains straight.
- Deadlift: hip hinge as main variable, check the back line.
- Bench press: sagittal abduction of the arms (in a supine axis).
- Etc., you get the picture, play around in visualizing the Upright Stance (shoulder press, pull-up, biceps curls, seated, kneeling or single leg positions).
If you’re deficient at this basic foundational stance, your movements will be deficient as well. Get a foundation built on solid ground before you add walls and a roof.