The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 39

The position or bearing of the body, which refers to the overall alignment of the various bodyparts to each other when a person is standing in a relaxed stance. The ideal posture is assumed to be when the earlobe, tip of the shoulder, hip joint, and outside bump of the ankle line up vertically. This arrangement indicates that an individual's overall structure is in good, mechanical balance. Variations from this ideal indicate areas of the body that don't permit the full mechanical ability for which they are designed. Restoration of the mechanical abilities leads to improved posture.

Good posture is important, not just for general health and well-being, but for safe weight training. Variations in posture away from the ideal can greatly affect the impact of weight training on the body. Good posture and correct exercise technique are needed if weight training is to yield good results without injury or irritation.

Poor posture may prevent the implementation of correct exercise technique, especially in standing, multi-joint exercises. This leads to distortion of the stresses on the body, and can produce irritation and injury, even with light weights. Poor posture usually can't be immediately corrected, as it's ingrained physically and mentally.

For help with improving your posture, consult a chiropractor, osteopath, physical therapist, or provider of Active Release Techniques, the Alexander technique, or Feldenkrais method.

Also see Kyphosis, Lordosis, Neutral spine, and Scoliosis.


Another word for weight, to refer to the resistance used in an exercise.


The sport that consists of three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. Powerlifting isn't an Olympic sport, and has multiple organizations that try to govern it. Most competitive powerlifting has become a high-tech activity because of the use of special suits, shirts, underwear, lifting belts, and joint wraps, all of which artificially increase the weights that can be elevated. The difference between these assisted lifts, and “raw” lifts, can be considerable. Drug use is rampant in powerlifting, which further inflates performances relative to natural, unassisted lifting.


The three lifts used in powerlifting competition: squat, bench press, and deadlift. They are excellent, muscle-building exercises when used properly.

Power rack

Large four-post structure with cross members to hold the uprights in position. There's a series of holes in each post, through which bars (called pins) can be placed, to provide range-of-motion limitation for appropriate barbell exercises.

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