Stop relying on the mirror!
We have one mirror in the entire gym here at Black Flag Barbell Club – in the bathroom. We don’t even use that one.
Many of our members coming from commercial gyms will comment that it feels strange to squat without a mirror in front of them, that they can’t see what they’re doing. Good! You need to able to feel it. Proprioception is knowing where your body is in space. Is your knee in or out? Is your spine neutral? Are your lats on? Being able to know these things by feel, not by looking, is a big part of technical mastery.
Very rarely do we see one of these individuals come to the gym with a good squat. Very rarely do we leave their weight on the bar the same – we have to strip back and rebuild. You can’t skip this step in the process, it’s not a negotiation – if you want to improve your lifting, you have to improve your ability to understand your body and it’s movement. This is one of the reasons it’s refreshing to get an absolute beginner – we can start off on the right foot with no bad habits to break, no expectations or ego to confront.
So ditch the mirror. Hell, ditch the gym and come train with us! But really, turn around and ignore that reflection – it’s not doing your lifting any favours. Film your sets, evaluate what you felt vs what actually happened, adjust and adapt. You’ll be a better lifter for it in the long run, I promise you.