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How The Form Lab is changing the way Mainers move

The Form Lab in Portland focuses on movements that can be incorporated into daily lives to make people healthier and stronger.

PORTLAND, Maine — How much thought does the average person put into picking up something off the floor? If the answer is "not much," that's not uncommon. The folks at the Form Lab in Portland want to change that.

The gym officially opened its doors last month. Since then, trainers have been teaching clients how to improve the way they move their bodies. The goal is to incorporate those movements into everyday life to help get the most out of each workout and minimize long-term aches and pains.

The Form Lab's co-founder, Andrew Blais, said even something as simple as picking up an object off the floor the wrong way can lead to problems down the road over time

"What we do is break those bad habits and create new ones that we practice outside of our time at the gym," Blais said. 

Here are a few tips when picking up objects from the floor:

  • Try to keep your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in the knees
  • Make sure to "hinge" forward to avoid straining the lower back
  • "Hinging" is when someone pushes their hips back and lets their chest fall forward while bending over to grab the object
  • Hamstrings and glutes should be engaged
  • Try to keep the knees pointed outward

"You want to feel that stretch and contraction in the back of your legs," Blais said. "That is how you're going to avoid using your lower back or loading up pressure into your quad and using your knee."

Check out the segment above for a full demonstration.

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