Why weakening a muscle prior to an exercise can make you stronger.
Back in the day static stretching was all the rage even today students of many skills feel like they need to stretch prior to engaging in activities. The reasoning is I don’t want to pull a muscle. However contrary to popular belief there is plenty of research to demonstrate that static stretching can be deleterious to performance. (1)(2) However in certain instances static stretching is warranted provided that it is the antagonist and not the agonist you are stretching.
In the case that and individuals hipflexor is tight due to sitting all day it is a good idea to stretch during warm up of the squat, intra set. This is related to the reciprocal inhibition. (3) What happens is by stretching antagonist muscle group say the bicep you can more easily contract the agonist muscle the tricep.
How to incorporate static stretching into a routine for Back Squat
Back Squat Warm Up
Hipflexor Stretch 1
Incorporating any of the above stretches can add to the mobility of the squat however it is important to understand that stretching a muscle for example the hamstring prior to a deadlift would be a grave mistake. (1)(2) This is one way to address mobility without compromising strength or power.
The story of Milos of Croton is often presented as the story of progressive overload. Milos carried a calf into town everyday and as his burden grew so did he. Milos had the foresight to burden himself at a young age to reap his reward later of becoming a champion grappler. This is where the story often ends. However legend tells that Milos met his fate trying to rent a stump in two with his bear hands and was killed by a pack of wolves when his fingers were stuck. What the story doesn’t tell you is why Milos went out of his way to tear stumps in half. Was it pride, leisure, or boredom.
My suggestion is Milos was doing rehab. As Milos went on in his years as a grappler he developed the chronic protracted stance of a wrestler. Due to the kyphotic nature of the sport Milos had slopped shoulders and underdeveloped rear delts along with upwardly rotated and winging scapula. Milos was using the stumps to correct his imbalances and pull his shoulders back into alignment. Somewhere along his journey he was having shoulder trouble and either an older grappler told him the how to correct it by tearing stumps apart. Perhaps he stumbled on it by accident and realized that it made him asymptomatic. Either way I think he was doing rehab but sadly that fateful day he bit off more than he could chew.
Mobility on an overhead squat is usually limited by an number of factors
The three stretches below are a good way to open up internal rotation tightness between sets of overhead squat as part of the warm up. Moving from an empty bar and gradually ramping to working weight for the overhead squat. If this is your first time doing the overhead squat be advised that without a foundation of upper body strength a broomstick would likely be your best option for the first couple of weeks slowly progressing to heavier bars until the shoulders and sustain the load of a Olympic bar. Each stretch should be comfortable to the shoulder.
In addition to the stretches some soft tissue work can also compliment at tight upper trap and supraspinatus. It is a common tender point.
The final part of overhead squat warm up would be overhead squats emphasizing pause in the bottom position. Not all people can demonstrate the mobility to go to the hole there first attempt/workout. And grip width will be harder the narrower you go. First set start wide and each additional set attempt to go narrower without compromising form of the overhead squat.
There are various other techniques and stratagem to get the upperbody in postion for the overhead squat. This is only one of them. My recommendation is to do this warmup a minimum of 3 times a week.
A1 Jerk Thoracic Extension 3-5 X 10-20 second hold A2 B squat Thoracic Extension 3-5 X 10-20 second hold A3 Supraspinatus roll 3-5 X 10-20second hold A4 Overhead Squat 3-5 X 1-3reps 2-3 second hold in the hole
Within the program some of the above stretches are not list but are provided. They can also be added it but it is up to the individual to decide. This is only part one of a series. Part 2 will discuss mobility for the lower body. Good luck in your journey to the hole. #stopslouching
“Competition is like breathing you never feel alive unless you are.”
What is a hero? A hero is one who’s name is permanently etched in the pantheon of history usually as a martyr, willing to die for an idea greater than self. Though often a flawed character, the hero in question makes a stand. In today’s new paradigm of the Machiavellian hero is to me depressing to say the least.
The story of Phidippides, tells of a messenger from the battle of Marathon. He ran to Athens to tell of the Persians defeat at Marathon. Phidippides was sent to warn of a possible naval invasion of the retreating Persians to Athens. Phidippides dies of exertion shortly after delivering the message.
Below you will find a program a a test for rite of passage into these halls. May the pantheon greet you.
“Come on you sons of bitches, who want to live forever?”
Sgt. Major Dan Daly
“In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.”
This is probably one of my favorite quotes. What I like about it is the quote’s symbolism. Having one eye limits a person’s gaze. The one eyed king is an individual of focused attention. The one eyed king is a leader to the blind, hopefully a benevolent God fearing king.
The cord I would like to strike with this symbolism is to take into account that you are the master and commander of your fate. You take responsibility for your actions and hold yourself ever accountable to your goals.
Your goals are your business statement. They are what you plan to accomplish. They need to be defined, specific, and have a timeline. Your goals need to have sub goals and they need to be written. There is an art and a science to achieving goals. It is my intention that you define your goals.
Clearly defined goals are like a magnifying glass with the right focus you can start a fire.