How to Tell the Difference Between Mobility, Technical and Strength Issues When Someone Has Poor Technique

By djpope

November 18, 2018

compensation, Crossfit, deadlifts, fault, faulty, form, movement, Olympic Lifting, olympic weightlifting, poor technique, squat, squats, Technique

In the last few article we’ve been discussing reasons why technique falls apart.  In my mind, technique generally falls apart for 3 major reasons:

  1. Mobility Deficits
  2. Technique (lack of coaching and cueing)
  3. Strength Deficits

So now that we know that all 3 of these can lead to poor exercise technique, how can we tell which is to blame?  As a coach you generally don’t have a ton of time to make a decision when you see an athlete in front of you who can’t reach depth in squat or is having trouble getting their arms fully overhead during a jerk.

More importantly, we don’t want to assume they may have a mobility issue and then shotgun a bunch of mobility exercises to the athlete in hopes that will clean things up.  We must be more efficient and effective then that.

So how can we distinguish between mobility, technique and strength issues when technique falls apart during squats, deadlifts, presses and olympic lifts?

I made a short video to help you quickly decide whether an athlete is dealing with either a mobility, technical or strength issue.  Check it out:

There you have it, a few quick tips for distinguishing between mobility, technical and strength deficits.  Knowing this is vital because it leads us to the correct intervention to help these folks.  Otherwise we’re just guessing and potentially wasting our (and the athlete’s) time.

If you enjoyed this short clip then I wanted to let you know it’s part of a much longer webinar series included with subscription into my Fitness Pain Free Insiders Online Mentoring Program:

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My mobility is limited by my technique, which lacks strength,

Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1