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Your Form Sucks by Dr. John Zimmer - CrossFit Journal

Your Form Sucks

By Dr. John Zimmer

In ExPhysiology, Medical/Injuries

May 22, 2010

PDF Article

Poor posture can create poor results and cause injuries. Dr. John Zimmer explains how to improve posture for best performance and safety.

“Your form sucks.”

This harsh statement is something I politely announce on a regular basis, along with telling the athlete he or she is pulling with the arms or has muted hip function, and it usually comes in response to myriad questions that are either injury- or performance-related.

“Why does my shoulder hurt when I do cleans?”
“Why does my back hurt when I deadlift?”
“Why do my knees hurt when I squat?”
“Why do I jerk the same as my push press?”
“Am I doing this right?”

The quick answer is always easy: “Your form sucks.”

When it comes to good form, the same fundamentals that apply in the gym still hold once we set down the barbell and leave the gym. CrossFit stresses midline stability—chest up, weight back the heels. But what happens when we leave the gym? The first thing that happens is we lose this great positioning.

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12 Comments on “Your Form Sucks”


wrote …

Nice article, Dr. John!


wrote …

CrossFit should make this article public so all the haters and shit talkers who have no experience with CrossFit would see that if your form sucks, it's your own fault, not CrossFit's.


wrote …

Dr. John - Loved the article and glad to see crossfit is open to DC's who "get it". I am also a DC working with an affiliate in Missouri on the same stuff... form form form, dynamic warmup/cool down, injury prevention, and so on. Hope to see more of your stuff.


wrote …

This is a great and informative article, thanks! I like the "What if I was catching a power clean?" reminder. Right to the point and very effective!


Jon Harting wrote …

Just wanted to say good article! Nice relations of posture to CrossFit.


wrote …

Yeeeeaaaahhhh! Get Some, Z-Man.


wrote …

Great Article!


wrote …

Awesome article, although the swearing found within was a little bit surprising and perhaps not needed.

Nonetheless, it is great to bring actual awareness to the mechanics of a rigid spine, something that seems to wayside a lot, even in Cfit.


wrote …

Great article from Dr Z. He worked on my sub luxed ribhead before Regionals but it was too little too late. I'm sure that if I had gotten to him sooner I would have be ok to compete. And yes, he did say "your form sucks". ;-)


wrote …

It is my honor to work out next to John at CrossfitBoston and often receive his outstanding coaching on form and technique. And I might add he usually does it at FULL VOLUME!

You're the best, John Zimmer!


wrote …

Does anyone have any links to some actual biomechanics studies that show deep squats being safer on the knees? I have a few science needy friends who won't take coaching cues, results based evidence, and non-scientifically proven methodology as factual and correct unless it is backed directly by a scientific study proving such results. Anything you guys can come up with would be awesome. Thanks.


replied to comment from Joseph Butterfield

First I would show them pictures of people in third world countries who are squatting with their ass basically on the ground and their knees out and explain that they don't have knee problems. Here's one study I found, but I didn't read much into...
basically just search valgus vs varus knee squat in google and find some scholarly articles with either sources or a write up of their study.

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