Weightlifting may look easy compared to sports like golf, soccer, or gymnastics, but it’s far more technical than most people realize. 

For example, properly performing a barbell back squat requires balance, coordination, and strength in a variety of muscle groups. Even the humdrum bench press and deadlift demand meticulous timing and muscular control.

Your weightlifting technique also has a major impact on your long-term fitness results. 

In a way, learning proper weightlifting technique is like mastering the fundamentals of personal finance. 

“Invest” early by taking the time to hone good weightlifting technique, and that time and effort will pay dividends for the rest of your weightlifting journey.  

So, what’s the best way to learn weightlifting technique? 

Well, it’s not what most people do, which is aping others in the gym. The fact is that most people who lift weights don’t use good technique, and if you try to mimic what they’re doing, you’ll end up making the same mistakes. 

Instead, a better approach is to use what are known as weightlifting cues to learn and improve your technique. 

Essentially, a weightlifting cue is just a simple reminder that helps you focus on a particular aspect of your weightlifting technique. For example, the cue “spread the floor with your feet,” is a helpful cue for remembering to keep your knees from caving in while squatting (you’ll learn more about this cue in a moment). 

Cues like this may seem obvious, trivial, or boring, but when used properly they can immediately boost your strength, fix seemingly intractable problems with your technique, and significantly reduce your risk of injury. 

The bottom line is weightlifting cues are one of the “hacks” you can use to quickly master new exercises and maintain proper technique on ones you’ve already learned. 

So, if you want to learn new exercises quickly, get stronger, and reduce your risk of injury, keep listening. 

Let’s start by taking a closer look at a weightlifting cue actually is. 


6:36 – What is a weightlifting cue? 

13:49 – What are effective cues for the bench press? 

20:15 – What are effective cues for the squat?

28:02 – What are effective cues for the deadlift? 

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!