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Body Mechanic Do’s and Don’ts

Via Maria April 2, 2024

In this lesson, we demonstrate and exaggerate what not to do with your advanced tools and body mechanics and then showcase our recommendations for optimal ease and relaxation. Continue to experiment with your stances and tools to figure out how to create the greatest impact with the least amount of effort (*hint, it might be different for your body than for our body). One of our favorite questions to ask ourselves to improve our body mechanics is: How can I make all my techniques simpler, easier, and more fun?

Seated Soft Hands
Don’ts: create tension with “hard” hands, passive legs, core facing away from the work, passive lats and over-muscling traps

Do’s: generate “soft” hands (“soft muscles, strong bones”), be active in your legs, have core/belly face your work, engage your quads and push your foot into the ground to move your core, slide your armpits down to your side pockets to activate your lats and decommission your traps

Seated Soft Fists
Don’ts: Ball up your fingers or thumbs, white knuckle clenching and muscle thru, round or wrinkle your wrists, be passive in your legs, lift your shoulder up and tension your traps, move and bend from your wrist joint

Do’s: Keep the back of your hand, wrist, and forearm on the same plane, allow your fingers and thumbs to be loose like cooked noodles, keep your wrist neutral and originate your effort from larger joints (like the elbow and shoulder), transmit your effort through your hard tissue/bones (“strong bones, soft muscles), press into and thru your back leg to leverage more power

Bilateral (two-sided) Forearm in Horse Stance
Don’ts: round your spine, straighten your legs and be passively lock your knees, tighten your hands, shoulders, face and jaw, pull your forearm toward your core, let your elbow and shoulder come out of alignment, use the sharps of your ulna blade, lean your spine sideways
Do’s: extend your spine, keep your chest open with a slight backbend behind your heart, allow your fingers, wrists and thumbs to be lax, press your forearm away from your core, drop your seat and push into your side leg as you bend the knee you’re moving toward like a side lunge, keep your elbow and shoulder fairly aligned, pronate your hand to use the fleshy part of your wrist flexors 2-3 inches away from your elbow

Unilateral (one-sided) Forearm in Archer’s Stance
Don’ts: keep your legs straight and round your back, clench your shoulders, neck, face, jaw, hands, and wrists, don’t move your back foot, let your elbow come out from under shoulder, point your core away from your work

Do’s: Bend your front knee and lower your core to deepen the intensity, press firmly through the back straight leg and foot (keep leg strong like a street lamppost), heel-toe your back foot forward to keep your elbow/shoulder aligned, keep your head up and heart open

Forearm or Elbow in Kickstand Stance
Don’ts: tense your hands and shoulders, round in your back, face your belly away from the stroke, bring your inside leg back and outside forward, lean sideways, keep your legs locked

Do’s: allow your hands, face, neck and shoulders to be relaxed, slide your armpits down to activate your lats, extend your spine throughout, face your core in the same direction as your stroke, keep your outside leg behind or besides your core, lean your hip into or rest onto (if appropriate) the table, press powerfully through your back leg

Forearm or Elbow in Instant Maui Stance
Don’ts: get very tight and small, rush through and over adhesions, face toward our stroke, be passive, clench and muscle through

Do’s: slow down and pause over adhesions to allow for the disorganized fascia to “melt”, lean in and/or lean back into your forearm or bend your elbow for more pinpointed, intense pressure, be as relaxed as if you were resting on a beach vacation