squat

Your Hip Flexion Stretching isn't Working

Your Hip Flexion Stretching isn't Working

Poor hip mobility is without a doubt a cause for not being able to achieve a biomechanically sound squat. Where do we start then? I always start by addressing athletes hip INTERNAL rotation.

External rotation and flexion of the hip are easy and hip internal rotation is a better predictor of overall hip health.

Isometrics for Better Squatting

Isometrics for Better Squatting | Movement Fix Monday

In the second video of our series Dr. Debell and myself go through a horse straddle stance. Most athletes don’t need additional lower body mobility then what is required to perform a proper straddle stance hold. When you develop a strong straddle position you get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of transferable mobility to all other lower body movements. It addresses almost all of your most underdeveloped lower body limitation, adductor mobility. It also simultaneously works on opening hips, ankles and spinal position once you can achieve it with the PVC pipe in the hips.

  • Start with your feet together. Windshield wipe your feet out (see video to visually see what that means) 4-5 steps as a starting point
  • Get as deep as you can while controlling the position and keeping your spine in neutral
  • Try to balance a dowel on your thighs without letting it slip off
  • Hold until it gets hard
  • Take a break
  • Repeat 3-5 times (this is feel based)

Be sure to check out Ryan's full blog post here. 

Squatting Pain Free; Part 1

Tempo Training:

This week is the first in a three-part series where I want to talk to you about how I modify my athletes’ training to keep them squatting safely. Unfortunately, the average Crossfitter struggles with the squat due to mobility limitations just about anywhere and everywhere in the body. When that is combined with a desk job and the fact that no one wants to spend any time on mobility work (since it’s boring and not social media worthy), it only worsens the issue.

So what do we do when we have ignored our mobility issues for so long, but want to continue to train?

If you don’t want to feel like you are being left behind during the strength portion of class, while everyone else gets to use their cool barbell, my first choice is to slow things down with the athlete and allow them to continue squatting, but at tempo!

Who should be using tempo training?

The simple answer: Everyone! At least anyone who wants to improve strength, mobility and body control. Those three things are how you bulletproof your body to continue to safely improve performance!

But I can’t lift as much weight with tempo training?

Yeah, that’s the point! Athletes should be more concerned about performing a movement correctly then with how much weight they are using. A slower tempo also recruits higher threshold motor units that trigger useful strength and fiber size adaptations.

How can tempo help me from getting hurt?

Most lifting injuries are not one-time traumatic events, but instead overuse injuries from lifting incorrectly. The tempo forces the athlete to slow down and lift a weight safely and correctly with control. This also eliminates the use of unwanted momentum or compensation in order to try to lift a weight.

Tempo training is also good when recovering from injury to increase blood flow to the injured area, gain strength and focus on getting the muscles to work effectively.

Closing thoughts?

Incorporating tempo or the amount of time you spend on each rep is just as important as programming reps, sets and weight. Lifting weights at a prescribed tempo is equally as challenging because it requires a higher level of motor control; it will also be much safer since you can’t lift as much. Make sure to remember that more doesn’t always equal better. The goal for most athletes is to come in, get a good, safe training session and walk out pain free.