SLOW SQUATS > FAST SQUATS: A Case for Successive Induction

SLOW SQUATS > FAST SQUATS: A Case for Successive Induction

Many of you might have read the title and been like “successive induc-what?”. Successive induction is a neurological principle I learned about during one of my neuroanatomy classes that peaked my interest because it is something I’ve been doing without knowing how powerful and effective it can be in strength training.

Successive induction is when you activate or engage an antagonist muscle to help the agonist develop more force and control. The agonist is the primary muscle used during a movement- in the case of a squat this will be your glutes and quads, the antagonist would be your hip flexors. An even easier example is doing a bicep curl- the biceps are the agonist, and the triceps are the antagonist. Now that you understand what SI is, lets talk about how you can use it to improve your strength.
Next time you squat, think about using your hip flexors to pull you down slowly into the pit instead of just dropping without control. Now you’re using the antagonists to help you generate more tension around your hips or what we call “co-contraction” which further increases the stability of the joint. You can apply this principle to the bench, bicep curls, or other accessory movements. You’ll notice that each successive rep gets easier and easier, and if you’re doing a single rep you’ll feel more stable.

Remember, one of the main components of strength training is our ability to develop tension. Successive induction is just one of many techniques you can use to make your nervous system even more efficient and functional.

SLOW SQUATS > FAST SQUATS: a case for successive induction ______________________________________________ Many of you might have read the title and been like "successive induc-what?". Successive induction is a neurological principle I learned about during one of my neuroanatomy classes that peaked my interest because it is something I've been doing without knowing how powerful and effective it can be in strength training. _______________________________________________ Successive induction is when you activate or engage an antagonist muscle to help the agonist develop more force and control. The agonist is the primary muscle used during a movement- in the case of a squat this will be your glutes and quads, the antagonist would be your hip flexors. An even easier example is doing a bicep curl- the biceps are the agonist, and the triceps are the antagonist. Now that you understand what SI is, lets talk about how you can use it to improve your strength. _______________________________________________ Next time you squat, think about using your hip flexors to pull you down slowly into the pit instead of just dropping without control. Now you're using the antagonists to help you generate more tension around your hips or what we call "co-contraction" which further increases the stability of the joint. You can apply this principle to the bench, bicep curls, or other accessory movements. You’ll notice that each successive rep gets easier and easier, and if you’re doing a single rep you’ll feel more stable. _______________________________________________ Remember, one of the main components of strength training is our ability to develop tension. Successive induction is just one of many techniques you can use to make your nervous system even more efficient and functional.

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FRONT SQUAT vs BACK SQUAT

FRONT SQUAT vs BACK SQUAT

Both the Front Squat and the Back Squat are great movements. Selecting which movement to use depends on training goals, overall joint/muscle stiffness, and prior or current injuries.
Front squats have greater erector spinae involvement. This allows a more upright posture and reduced lumbar shear forces.

Back Squats have greater gluteal involvement, but higher lumbar shear force potential.

Front squat have lower compressive forces at the knee compared to the back squat.

💥Front Squat vs Back Squat💥 – Both are great movements. Selecting which movement to use depends on training goals, overall joint/muscle stiffness, and prior or current injuries. – 📚Front squats have greater erector spinae involvement. This allows a more upright posture and reduced lumbar shear forces. – 📚Back Squats have greater gluteal involvement, but higher lumbar shear force potential. – 📚Front squat have lower compressive forces at the knee compared to the back squat. – Other consideration is sport specificity. Ex: powerlifters may gravitate toward back squats since it’s one of their competition lifts; and Olympic weightlifters may gravitate toward the front squat since that is the position that is required during the clean and jerk! – Written By @dr.giardina.dpt – Reference: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bc7c/48be4156f5f42b0add032b509c23c88681f6.pdf

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Other consideration is sport specificity. Ex: powerlifters may gravitate toward back squats since it’s one of their competition lifts; and Olympic weightlifters may gravitate toward the front squat since that is the position that is required during the clean and jerk!

Written By @dr.giardina.dpt –
Reference:
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bc7c/48be4156f5f42b0add032b509c23c88681f6.pdf

STRUGGLE WITH OVERHEAD MOTIONS?

STRUGGLE WITH OVERHEAD MOTIONS?

Your body will find a way to achieve a particular motion, without necessarily taking into account optimal movement. For example, you want to do an overhead press, a pull up, a handstand, or simply reach a higher cabinet, your body will take the path of least resistance to get there. What most commonly happens is that as you reach overhead, your lower back needs to hyperextend in order for you to achieve the final degrees of motion necessary to put your hands over your head.

Over time, we start developing increased stiffness in our upper back, and instability or hyper mobility in our lower back, which over time can lead to a wide array of issues. This is a big deal because our lumbar spine is built for stability and our thoracic spine is built for rotation, flexion and extension- or rather it has the potential for it. So, you come to the gym every day and you stretch your lats, flail your arms around, grab bands and hang from them, yet every time you try to do a jerk, barbell press or any sort of overhead motion you can’t seem to get full range of motion or get the barbell in the proper position.

The relationship between the shoulder blades and the thoracic spine is extremely important for injury prevention and optimal overhead mechanics. The higher you need to raise your arms, the higher the demand of thoracic motion required to maintain proper relative shoulder alignment. The following exercises are aimed at improving thoracic rotation and extension in order to improve overhead positions, reduce low back pain and incidence of shoulder injuries.

1. Supine dead bug variation: squeeze a med ball or foam roller between your legs, keep you ribcage DOWN, don’t let your lower back come off the mat
2. Standing resisted rotations: lock your pelvis in place and aim at generating all the motion from your upper back
3. Rocked back quadruped rotation: open all the way and close all the way
4. Segmental rolling: roll segment by segment, flex and extend all the way.

See video below:

STRUGGLE WITH OVERHEAD MOTIONS? ________________________________________ Your body will find a way to achieve a particular motion, without necessarily taking into account optimal movement. For example, you want to do an overhead press, a pull up, a handstand, or simply reach a higher cabinet, your body will take the path of least resistance to get there. What most commonly happens is that as you reach overhead, your lower back needs to hyperextend in order for you to achieve the final degrees of motion necessary to put your hands over your head. ______________________________________ Over time, we start developing increased stiffness in our upper back, and instability or hyper mobility in our lower back, which over time can lead to a wide array of issues. This is a big deal because our lumbar spine is built for stability and our thoracic spine is built for rotation, flexion and extension- or rather it has the potential for it. So, you come to the gym every day and you stretch your lats, flail your arms around, grab bands and hang from them, yet every time you try to do a jerk, barbell press or any sort of overhead motion you can’t seem to get full range of motion or get the barbell in the proper position. ______________________________________ The relationship between the shoulder blades and the thoracic spine is extremely important for injury prevention and optimal overhead mechanics. The higher you need to raise your arms, the higher the demand of thoracic motion required to maintain proper relative shoulder alignment. The following exercises are aimed at improving thoracic rotation and extension in order to improve overhead positions, reduce low back pain and incidence of shoulder injuries. ____________________________________ 1. Supine dead bug variation: squeeze a med ball or foam roller between your legs, keep you ribcage DOWN, don’t let your lower back come off the mat 2. Standing resisted rotations: lock your pelvis in place and aim at generating all the motion from your upper back 3. Rocked back quadruped rotation: open all the way and close all the way 4. Segmental rolling: roll segment by segment, flex and extend all the way.

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By: Dr. Stefanie Cohen, DPT.

CONVENTIONAL VS SUMO

CONVENTIONAL VS SUMO

Differences in stance width between the conventional deadlift (CD) and sumo deadlift (SD) result in altered body position, which ultimately allows for differences in muscle activation and pulling mechanics.

Both McGuigan/Wilson and Escamilla et al have extensively analyzed the differences in the CD vs SD. The narrow stance of a CD requires increased ankle dorsiflexion (creating a less vertical shin) while the wide stance of a SD allows for a more vertical shin angle.

Additionally, the narrow stance of the CD creates a position with slightly more knee extension and a more horizontal torso (more hip flexion) when compared to the more vertical torso of the SD.

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These differences in position are important for a few reasons:

1) Based on EMG data the two lifts maximally recruit difference muscles. CD shows much higher erector spinae activity and likely higher gluteus activity (some studies show higher glute activity in CD and some show no statistical difference), while the SD shows significantly more quadriceps activation. Interestingly, no significant differences were noted in hamstring activity.

2) With a more vertical shin and torso classically found in the SD, it has the potential to be a biomechanically advantageous position to lift a barbell from the ground due to the ability to keep the bar closer to the body, reduce hindering lever arms, decrease range of motion, and produce a more vertical bar path.

However, this DOES NOT mean that “sumo is cheating” or that the SD is universally easier for all lifters. On the contrary, due anatomical differences (ex: femur/torso/arm length and ratios), limitations in flexibility, and differences in muscular strengths, the CD can certainly still be the strongest variation for many lifters.

Additionally, McGuigan/Wilson found no difference in Schartz Scores (tool for assessing relative strength) between SD and CD in a national powerlifting competition.

Practical Application: Since the CD and SD activate different, large muscle groups to a significant extent, trainees seeking to improve general strength and athleticism should incorporate both lifts into a well-planned training program.

 

By: Bongju Kim Bro M.D. (@bros_md)

5 KEYS TO IMPROVING YOUR BENCH


5 KEYS TO IMPROVING YOUR BENCH


 

Here are some cues that can help you improve your benchpress!

1) Wrists are in a neutral position stacked on top of the forearms. – common error = wrists back. Wrists back is a weaker position, it can also slow down the bar speed off of your chest because the position of the wrist can change to neutral when the weight isn’t entirely on the wrists in your bottom position.
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(2) Shoulders are pulled back and down. This position is the safest position for your shoulders when benching.
- common error = refusing a lift off. Some people get into the perfect position but refuse a lift off from someone else. When you lift the bar off yourself you are forced to remove your shoulders from that locked, back and down position.
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(3) Arch allows you to get into the safest shoulder position. It also creates an optimal position for leg drive. – Common errors = (a) thinking arching is cheating… don’t be that person, it’s a matter of safety, longevity in the sport and lifting the most weight. (b) Overarching – this is something only you can decide, there is no standard rule but if its comfortable to you, you’re not overarching, only arch less if you’re experiencing discomfort.
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(4) Bar Path is UP and BACK. We want a slow, controlled descent where the bar lands on your nipple line. When you drive up the movement should be diagonal, up and back so your top position is wrists over elbows over shoulders.
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(5) Leg drive starts the upward movement. IT ALL STARTS FROM THE FLOOR, remember that. Drive diagonally up and back with your legs and body. Use the momentum you create to drive that bar off of your chest as aggressively as possible. Bench is a whole body movement and that’s why it’s included in the sport of powerlifting.

 

Written by Coach Hayden Bowe

SHOULD YOU BE SQUATTING WITH LIFTING SHOES?

SHOULD YOU BE SQUATTING WITH LIFTING SHOES?

 

Here’s an easy test to find out. The goal is to determine (1) if you have mobility limitations and (2) where those limitations are coming from.

Part A – do a squat in bare feet. Stand so the side of your body is facing a mirror. Put your hands either out in front of you or cross your arms so your hands are touching opposite shoulders.

Perform a squat where hip-crease reaches just below parallel. If you can only reach below parallel by flexing your lower back i.e. a butt wink OR you can’t reach depth at all consider “Part A” = Failed.

Part B – Now perform the same test with a 3 inch platform under your heels. Again, buttwink or inability to reach depth = a failed test.

HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR RESULTS:

Fail + Fail = limited hip mobility. A lifting shoe will not provide immediate help.
Fail + Pass = limited ankle mobility. Weightlifting shoes will provide immediate help with your form. It doesn’t mean, neglect ankle mobility and just get lifting shoes, but it is a good indicator that an elevated heel will help.
Pass + Pass = do whatever feels best for you, you’re not limited by lower body mobility while trying to achieve depth.
Pass + Fail = should not occur.
Written by Coach @hayden.bowe

MY 5 TIPS ON OVERCOMING ANY INJURY


MY 5 TIPS ON OVERCOMING ANY INJURY


 

 

Trust me when I say, I’ve been there. I understand the frustration that comes with being injured and not being able to train to your full potential. Being a high level athlete and a physical therapist gives me a unique view, and has allowed me to come up with strategies to overcome injuries in a way that won’t only get you back in the game, but will get you there stronger than ever. So here are my five cents:

1. STOP DOING WHAT HURTS, NO PAIN= MORE GAINS: If you have pain when you squat/deadlift/snatch/press- don’t do that! Just as important as what you DO is what you DON’T DO. We hear this from healthcare professionals all the time, yet we almost always chose to ignore this simple advice. It doesn’t mean don’t do it forever, it just means avoid it for now.
2. TISSUE ADAPTATION TAKES TIME: Injury occurs when LOAD> TISSUE TOLERANCE. Between load and tolerance there’s a margin of safety. If you’re coming back from an injury, that margin of safety is smaller. You need to give your tissues time to adapt by progressively loading them so they are strong enough to withstand the load.
3. HABITUATION: Turn off the pain alarm. Whatever movement is causing you pain, expose yourself progressively to it. For example, if you have back pain when you bend forward, begin with OTHER movements that involve spine flexion like cat/cows, segmental flexion, sitting down in a chair with your head down. The second portion of this point is to begin loading under your CURRENT pain threshold, never above and increase volume and intensity slowly.
4. ISOMETRICS and high rep, low load: There is a big body of evidence that suggests that isometric contractions have an analgesic effect. Stuff like bird dogs, dead bugs, side planks, wall squats, etc. These exercises also increase muscular endurance, which improve stability. I’m talking about 8-10 reps 30-60second hold multiple times per day.
5. MOVEMENT CORRECTION: Sometimes it isn’t as clear cut as simply avoiding a movement. We can do that for a short period of time, but if that doesn’t take care of the issue we need to identify the biomechanical fault and target it with corrective exercises.

-By Dr. Stefanie Cohen, DPT