tip of the month archive

TIP # 04

Time for another Tip Of The Month.

This is for all you squatters out there. ( I hope that's most of you since squats are such a wonderful exercise.) More so than not, when a trainee uses a 7' straight Olympic bar to squat with, they pick a spot high on the wall in front of them or even on the ceiling just in front and above them to concentrate their focus on.

Squatting in this manner is a bad idea.

  • First off when you look up above parallel, you arch your back excessively which can really do some spinal damage.
  • Then, to offset the arch, you must bend forward at the waist.
  • When you bend forward at the waist, you run the risk of more damage to the lower back,
    and . . .
  • you begin your assent by pushing up with your butt . . .
  • leaning forward even more at the waist . . .
  • and finishing off the rep by doing a really weird version of an exercise known as a 'good morning'!

Instead of all that, try putting the bar a bit lower on your traps and looking straight ahead, keeping your chin level with the floor. You know, like watching yourself in a mirror. Then, as you push the weight up from the floor, imagine that there's a string coming out of the exact center of the top of your head, and that you are being pulled up by that string.

You'll stay more upright this way, with much less strain on the back, less work emphasis on the glutes, (or were you trying to build a huge butt?), and more direct stress to the fronts of you thighs.

Be prepared to drop the weight a bit when you switch to this style of squatting. But also be prepared to . . .

  • squat through a greater range of motion . . .
  • have sore thighs the next day instead of lower back pain, and . . .
  • buy bigger jeans to accommodate the quad growth you stimulate!

Until next time . . . train hard, but train smart!

Try this month's tip for 30 days. Then [ E-mail ] me and tell me about your progress.

- Poppa

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