12 Aug Performance Tip #3
So now that we’ve got the simple (and possibly boring?) tips out of the way, we can now get into the more meaty items that will help you get stronger, lose weight, move better and feel good.
Starting with one of the ultimate exercises…
These bad boys are in my list of ‘ultimate’s’ because not only do they require the right amount of mobility to perform correctly, they also are high up on the list for muscle demand. This, making them, ideal for building muscle along with increasing one of everybody’s favourite human feature – metabolism.
But how to go about performing them when you’re in pain, don’t know where to start, or simply can’t be bothered?
Simple. You work out what level you’re at and what you’re capable of, and you make a start.
Getting properly assessed by a professional would be the best idea, but self-assessing your skills can also be fine to go off.
They are a pretty simple exercise to perform once you get the right foundation, so adding them into your routine will be rather simple after finishing this article and determining what level you’re at.
And if you feel like you couldn’t possibly ever perform them, if my client Jason, who has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, can perform squats, then there really aren’t too many things that could excuse you from attempting them, right?
So even if you’re not at the level like the guy below is.
You can definitely still put yourself on track to possibly getting there one day.
Another good thing about the squat is that there are so many regressions and progressions that even if you’re someone with knee pain, or have never even performed one, you’re still able to get a decent amount of a training response from performing these at any level.
Pretty cool, right?
So, let’s get this party underway and start with a few of the more simpler forms of squatting that will help put you on the path to OH squatting (one kilo heavier than the above YouTube video record, of course).
You can see this familiar movement in all parts of the world. People of all ages, sizes, shapes, races and even genders can be seen performing this feat on a regular basis.
What is it, you ask?
The simple stand up and sit down upon a chair movement. Sound familiar?
Well, if you’re like most people, you probably would have already performed this movement before beginning to read this article.
The more common term for this movement when performing it as more of an exercise, rather than just something that let’s you rest your tired little legs, is the box squat. And it’s something that can be performed by almost everyone.
In this movement you’re able to accentuate the hip dominance if you, say, suffer from knee pain and/or injuries too by keeping more of a vertical shin.
Pretty cool, right?
So cool, in fact, that it will still help you hit most of the muscles found in your bod.
Moving on from this we can take away your safety blanket (the box) and start to increase the demand on your body.
By keeping your hands behind your head and elbows close together, it helps keep your head and spine in more of a neutral position – which is actually ideal for helping you keep neural levels high and depth as low as your mobility allows you to go.
But, if you’re one of those people that struggle to keep your feet down or even your torso upright during this movement, and feel like you have a long way to go before that mobility increases, opting to place something under the heels of your feet can work well too.
Once mastering the movements above, you can now start loading yourself up with some of those items that are hard to pick up sometimes.
This one is not only great to improve your overall mobility and train your anterior core, but it also is super simple to perform.
It might feel anti-climatic, but for a lot of the population, this is as far as you really have to ever go down the squat progression line. By loading yourself up with heavier dumbbells, kettlebells, etc, you’ll be able to hit all the muscles you want to hit, and keep your joints nice and free too.
But, if you’re after the ultimate, then of course we can go further down the progression line.
Following the mastery of the goblet squat, we can then move into more of a traditional movement in the form of a front squat.
This one is great to help open up more of your upper body areas as there is an increased demand to hold the weight properly.
The bar might be difficult to support in the initial stages of implementing this one, but we can simplify it so that even the most Quasimodo of individuals can still progress by changing how you hold the bar:
Or even like this:
Now, this one may not be ideal when wanting to eventually get to let’s say, a clean, but not everyone is looking to get to the Olympics.
Now, there is debate for whether or not this next squat should or can be before the front squat. But the fact of the matter is, like a lot of things: it depends.
A lot of the time, people are more likely to have a more hunched posture and find the ability to externally rotate their shoulders without compensating in other areas of their body. Not to mention the demand that is placed on core strength to keep you from tipping forward due to the weight too.
So, when performing this next squat with a non-collapsing, compensating, externally-rotatingly happy body, the exercises that I’ve listed above seem to be a good progression to get you there.
Keep in mind however, that just like the goblet squat, progressing past the front squat doesn’t have to occur with everyone. And most of the time it just comes down to personal preference and/or your body’s ability really.
Adding in this ultimate exercise, or simply regressing or progressing yourself to a more suited form of it can help you immensely with all your training and life goals.
Try the above out, and hit me up with any questions below.