T Nation

Newbie Arching His Back....

Guys i need some help. a 15 year old newbie is gonna be training with me for the summer and, like most kids these day he’s got very poor posture. so when he does things like dead lifts the first thing that starts to move is the middle of his back- to the point where he resembles Quasimodo.

any thoughts on how to describe the way a flat back should feel, and what to do to remedy this? i know its a very common problem among you athletes just getting into training. thank.

tell him to sit/stand straight ?

Tell him to keep the chest up and out I guess. There is a difference though between chest up and beginning the lift with the chest movement. As far as how a flat back should feel, just show him the proper position and have him hold it and practice getting back into it, thus teaching him it. Also, one thing that you may want to consider is the starting position he is deadlifting (depending on what type of DL’s your doing), and where he is looking when beginning the lift.

in an article a while back about 3rd world squats?? they talked about how, because in most other cultures they squat instead of sit during the day they have better form.

Have him squat (heals flat) and knees in his arm pits with back straight for 1 to 2 minutes 4 to 5 times a day for a week.

It will greatly improve his posture and form. I had to do this with a guy I work with because he had a problem getting his butt lower then his knees…

Also, sitting on a bosu ball when in front of the computer can help with posture also.

Hope some of that helps…

keeping chest as up as possible would be a good start. also when trying to pull while the pull is done from your lower back more than your upper you should be thinking of pulling your upper back backwards and your lower back should follow.

other than that its kinda obvious how to get a flat back, try pushing the belly out(flexing abs outwards) and “pushing” the lower back towards the abs while pushing the upper back upwards. other than that its flexibility and body type. i myself while i have pretty good flexibility in squat(at least if i go down, not down+back) i my hips dont come under anymore but its still impossible for me to make a deadlift with a straight back without scraping the heck out of my legs. which makes it more of a squat…

Put an ice cube on the small of his back.
Or have him go through the “mad cat and camel” warm-up exercises. He probably has a very weak core and poor breathing patterns.
Just keep on his case. As he gets stronger it usually improves.


thanks guys, i’ll start with the squatting exercises and see how it goes. when we left our 1st session i told him to walk around with his chest “puffed out” (exaggerated good posture, but he doesnt know it) and i had him looking at the top of the wall when doing DL’s… i hope i can straighten him out!

      thanks again everybody