Go on fitness social media and you’ll see thousands of videos on how to squat, deadlift, or pushup with perfect technique.

And while these typically do well in terms of attention, their usefulness is limited.

Take a squat for example.

Tradition will tell you to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward while trying to stay upright throughout the movement. If I tried to squat like this, I’d fall over.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad advice per se, it’s just bad advice for me personally, and that’s the problem.

Someone with longer legs and a shorter torso will be stronger squatting from a more “bent over” position typically. While someone with a longer torso and shorter legs will tend to squat more upright.

Based on the shape of your hips, (where the hip sockets point, how deep they are), your squat can be drastically different from someone else in how you stand, brace, and your ability to perform the movement through a full range of motion.

Ever wonder why some people can bring their hips almost to the ground with a completely flat back? They probably have wide and shallow hip sockets.

This doesn’t discount working on your mobility, but some people will have a head start where certain movements are concerned.

The point is that trying to generalize human movement, when everyone is so individual, is impossible. We all have different proportions, tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses related to a whole host of factors.

And this means that programming for the individual becomes less about picking movements and more about designing the movement to fit their structure and goals.

How you perform a deadlift when your goal is strength versus how you perform it when your goal is to build muscle is also significantly different.

So when you see general advice on how to do movements, look out for those who say there’s only one way to do something correctly. Because perfect technique does not exist.

To your good health,

-Coach Stephen