At IFAST we put a huge emphasis on position. By position, I mean how you are stacking yourself in an exercise or how you line up. When someone gets a program early on in their IFAST career it will include positional exercises. When I say positional exercises, I mean exercises that ask you to hold a position for a few seconds or a few breaths. So why do we take position so seriously?
The positions we may ask you to hold are laying a foundation for you to move around with more control in later programs. If we were to ask you to build a home on ground that wasn’t so stable, you can assume the house will not be as sturdy as it could be. If he we haven’t assured that you can get into a position and then own that position, we could be doing the same thing. We could be setting you up for failure. If you see exercises that seem very similar back to back in your program we are likely emphasizing the pattern that the two exercises support. We may ask you to hold a position for a few breaths and then complete a similar exercise where you are more dynamic or less stable.
This is something you might see in our Athletika classes. In large group settings, it can be difficult to coach everyone on every single rep. This is where position comes in. Tony and I may ask you to hold a position so that we have more time to coach you as an individual, have more time to see what everyone in class is doing, or make the work out more brutal. This is a very effective way to ensure you are laying a good movement foundation and keeping everyone safe in large group setting.
Examples of positions that will transfer over to larger movements that we use commonly at IFAST would be plank or squat variations that carry over to push-ups and squats. A plank from the hands will have more of an emphasis on improving a push-up while an exercise like a squat w/ PVC or a plate squat will likely be putting more of an emphasis on improving a squat. When you see half kneeling or split stance exercises we are often going after patterning for a lunge or another exercise that may require a ton of control of one foot or hip at a time.
These examples may not be as exciting as a 500 deadlift but often learning how to control a position can be what adds plates to the bar on down the road or being stable and owning a position is what is going to keep you lifting and able to complete that exercise later on in life. Next time you see and exercise on your program and you’re not sure why we are asking you do it, please ask. We love getting questions about our programming. Often times understanding why you’re being asked to do something will allow you to give the task more focus and will give you more context for the exercise and the progressions that come later in you programming.
We put a huge emphasis on position because controlling position is the key to lifting heavy, lifting fast, and lifting for a long, long time.