X-Training Tips Part 6


The squat is the foundation of so many x-training techniques and we do them almost daily at 8 Limbs in one form or another. It’s a seemingly simple exercise but surprisingly most of us are  still doing it wrong as there are so many elements we need to nail in order to get the most out of our squat and to ensure safe lifting technique. The below covers common mistakes, how to correct them and then up your squat game.


While it’s refreshing for men and women alike to use the barbell as their main tool of destruction on their health & fitness journey, with the day and age we live in now it’s extremely easy to be misled as to how a lift should be done properly. For the most part people are far better off than they were 10 years ago, if you ask someone to squat they’ll probably try and keep the weight back in the heels and not let their chest touch their knees – this is good news!

But when we start throwing some serious weight on the bar, the form deficiencies stick out like a sore thumb, and it’s clear that the base knowledge of the lift is still incomplete


There are some fine points and positioning that a lot of people are missing out on, and it can lead to bad form, missed lifts, or even injury.

So, we’re gathered here today around this glorious round table of fitness to talk about one of the mother lifts – the squat. She can be a great asset in your strength game, but if you don’t pay attention to her finer details – she could bite back.


Over the years I’ve heard many cues in order to help people achieve better positioning in the squat, one of which being the classic ‘Chest Up’ cue. This is an excellent cue to give someone when they struggle to keep their chest up and prevent the weight from moving towards the toes and therefore putting an excess amount of pressure on the knees.

But what happens when the chest is torqued too high and we lose stability in our mid line (abs)? Our hips and pelvis can’t stay in line correctly with the angle we’ve put our body in, leaving our lower backs horrifically over extended, which then causes the gruesome ‘Butt Wink’ at the bottom of the squat. Whenever I see someone squat to full depth and see their pelvis tilt and their ‘Butt Wink’ it usually tells me a few things.

  1. They’re not warmed up enough and they need to stretch a little more
  2. They’re losing tightness in their glutes and hamstrings in the bottom of the squat
  3. The lower back is over extended and the core is no longer engaged

With the pelvis tilting in the bottom of the squat it’s accounting for a lot of lost power and could make or break the lift. Lucky for you guys – this can be fixed!

Most technique issues can be solved with some mobility work to help the muscles achieve the right amount of range of motion

to complete the lift, but we’ll go over some of that stuff another day. Today we’re going to focus on something that you should do not only before you squat, but before you lift ANYTHING.


This sequence will help you properly engage your mid line and keep the tightness throughout so you can stay tight during the lift and not fold like a lawn chair in the bottom of your squat – or any lift for that matter. A lot of the times lifts are missed not only because the athlete didn’t have the strength to complete it, but they lost the stability in their core to stay tight which then cuts off power to the extremities whilst trying to complete the lift. Core to extremity ring a bell? So here’s our BRACING SEQUENCE to help with that stabilization:

  1. Squeeze your glutes together. This is going to set your pelvis in the correct position we need it to support the weight.
  2. Pull the rib cage down by flexing your core while still squeezing the glutes. This ensures our backs are not over extended and mid line is engaged.
  3. Take a big breath in from that tightness you’ve created by flexing the core and pulling the rib cage down.


  • Keep the mid line as tight as possible and don’t let go
  • Squeeze the glutes on the way down to ensure they are activated and you’re using them to carry the weight. (Assuming that you’re squatting).

All in all, we still want our chests up, but be careful to not over extend. Go through the bracing sequence with all the lifts you do – and watch your weights skyrocket further than you ever thought

X-Training Tips & Techniques Part 2

Working on your x-training and functional fitness is an ongoing and never ending process as we are always developing and evolving.
Here’s a few places to get started.


What is a double under you may ask? A double under is skipping while swinging the rope under your feet twice with each skip.
In my very first official CrossFit class, the WOD was made up of a ton of double unders, of which I couldn’t do a single one. Oh, the frustration, the whip marks. Ughhhh. I tried with all my might to get that skipping rope under my feet twice with each skip but it just wasn’t happening. All the while I was tensing up what seemed to be every single muscle in my body, trying way to hard and completely exhausting myself.
We recommend purchasing your own speed rope that’s properly sized for your height, that way you can practice anytime and not have to scramble to find a suitable loaner rope pre-WOD. You don’t have to shell out for a fancy one either. You can get a decent double under rope for around $15, while if you want to doll out a little more, you can spend as much as $50.

Don’t Try Too Much Too Soon

Busting open a shin on a 20-inch box jump doesn’t feel good. Leave your ego at the door and remember that your coach knows best. Start small—like on a 12-inch box—and progress as you grow stronger and feel more comfortable.

Don’t Cheat Yourself

Performing a CrossFit push-up? Lower your chest all the way to the ground. Busting out a CrossFit squat? Get those hips below the knees.”Cutting it short is cheating,” says Loic Rouby. “Trainers set standards to ensure that everyone is completing the same amount of work per rep, and to help each athlete develop more strength and flexibility.” If it feels too tough, adjust your weight or ask the trainer for an acceptable modification. Either way, aim to complete the full range of motion using proper form.

Don’t Lose Count

“It’s important to measure everything so you can follow your progress,” And charting those PRs isn’t just good for social media bragging (although that’s certainly allowed): Many workouts call for lifting a certain percentage of your one rep max (the highest amount of weight you can lift while completing one rep with proper form). So keeping a good log one day can help you push yourself the next.