This was taken out of The Wrestler’s Edge by Coach Carmen Bott. It decides how you ought to position yourself to get the most of your strength without injury.

Spread the floor: During a squat or deadlift, imagine that you are trying to spread or pull the floor apart with the outsides of your feet. You are trying to engage the outer hip stabilizing muscles, so the knees do not collapse and the hips produce a powerful, efficient movement.

Corkscrew the arms: While in a push-up position, imagine that there is a corkscrew running from your shoulders all the way into your hands. You want the upper arms to rotate outwardly (externally) while the hands stay straight ahead. This will allow the scapula (shoulder blades) to pack down into the humerus (upper arm) so that the shoulder joint is maximally stable.

Break the bar: During a deadlift, imagine that you are trying to literally break the bar against your body. This will again allow the upper arm to rotate externally and your scapula to align neutrally for optimum stability.

Pull yourself down to the floor: Instead of allowing yourself to just “fall” down to the floor during a deadlift, squat, lunge, chin-up or push-up, try to engage your muscles to “pull” yourself down so that there is tension being created. Fight gravity every step of the way to optimize your strength gains.

Push the floor away: During the ‘up’ phase of a clean pull, squat or deadlift, think about pushing or driving your feet into the ground as opposed to extending your knees back. This will allow you to activate your glutes to drive your hips forward. Similarly, in a lunge, think about trying to push the floor away from you on the way back up to a stance.

Pull the bar apart: Similar to spreading the floor, imagine that you are trying to pull the bar apart during a back squat. This will allow you to create maximal tension in your upper body so that there are no “energy leaks”.

Toes to your nose: When performing any kind of step-up, stair climb or lateral movement exercise like a side lunge, you want to make sure that you dorsiflex (foot is pulled upward and not sagging) your foot. This allows your ankle joint to be fully stabilized and helps to drive through the heel, activating your posterior chain. It’s also a good idea to do this during pull-ups. Do not allow your legs to ‘dangle.’ It not only looks weak, but it does not train your entire body.

So by following these tips, you will be able to maximize your weight training and avoid getting injured.