The strongest frames use bone structure and contain few joints that can be collapsed.
A good frame has two characteristics:
- They rely on bone structure, not muscle
- They contain few or no joints that your opponent can collapse.
Framing with bone structure:
If you’re framing effectively, you’re carrying your opponent’s weight with your skeleton and bone structure. You’re not using muscle to bench press your opponent, and you shouldn’t need to use strength.
If your muscles are getting strained or fatigued when framing, you’re not framing efficiently. If you’re actively using muscle or strength to push your opponent away, you’re not framing efficiently. Muscle-based framing leads to fatigue, and won’t be effective against much larger opponents.
Framing without joints:
A solid frame contains no joints that your opponent can exploit. Joints create structural weaknesses. For example, if you are framing by pushing your opponent away with a straight arm, your opponent can collapse your arm at the elbow joint. In the worst case scenario, your opponent can hyperextend the joint and cause injury.
If you’re framing with your arm, you’re usually better off framing with your forearm than with your hand.
If you’re framing with your leg, you’re usually better off framing with your shin than with your foot.