Let’s say you’re reading this, and you’ve been lifting for a while. You’ve probably hit some pretty epic PBs. You are confident with your trajectory as a lifter. But maybe there’s a niggly feeling that something is missing? Perhaps that lil sprinkle of fairy dust that is going to catapult you to the next level? Could it be…Torque?
Could it be what you say? Torque? Well it certainly sounds impressive enough but maybe we need to discuss what IT actually is.
By definition, cut to me flipping through my year 10 Science book where it describes Torque as “a measure of the effectiveness of such a force that consists of the product of the force and the perpendicular distance from the line of action of the force to the axis of rotation…” sorry I feel asleep for a second there.
Stand by for layman’s terms…ah here we go according to BreakingMuscle.com…“More torque means a more effective lever. Think about opening a heavy door. If you push on the door close to the hinges, it will be more difficult to open than if you push on the side of the door furthest from the hinge (hinge = axis). A force is more effective when applied further from the axis because the length of the moment arm is greater.”
To help me more on this topic, I’ve enlisted Zap Fitness Trainer extraordinaire Peter Vayne who is a movement specialist and all-round knowledgeable guy. As Peter explains,
“Although it sounds advanced, torque is simply about teaching people to move from point A to point B with exacting efficiency. Adding torque to your training can be done simply and early on in your lifting journey.”
“I like to introduce the concept of torque early on to my clients. I find that it is not difficult to learn the cues required to produce torque and it will ensure that my clients develop better lifting habits.”
While the concept of torque can be applied to the more complicated Olympic Lifts, such as the Snatch. Peter explains that it also can be of great benefit in things like a Squat or even Pull Ups and Push Ups,
“For beginners learning to Squat, I will introduce torque concepts such as instead of letting their knees go over their toes, rather press their feet into the ground and turn the hips outward. This tension adds strength, incorporates compound muscles and generally makes the lift move easier,”
According to Peter, “Bodyweight movements such as Push Ups can be improved with torque. Reminding clients to push through their heels in will stabilise the legs and glutes.”
Learning how to torque the torque (see what I did there), can take a little practice but as Peter can confirm, “It is a practice that will be well worth your time. The pay offs will include lifting more and achieving efficient and injury free movement.”
To help, Peter has passed on a few more great tips for creating torque in your lifts, “Try to pause for moment right before your lift and think about your body position. Is your body in its most stable position possible? If not, how can you get it there? Things like screwing your feet into the ground or gripping the bar can create the rotational force in your joints required for adequate torque. Just keep practicing and learning how to feel the difference.”
For more solid gold advice, why not visit Zap Fitness Kidman Park and chat to Peter more.
See you at the gym!
– By Prue Houston