Monday, November 16, 2015

Little Tweaks that Create Big Differences

By: Joel Luedke

There are many amazing programs out there these days and they can all yield you great results.  There are different workout options, i.e. CrossFit that do a great job getting you conditioned both in strength but also metabolically, but even the best programs out there can still be lacking with out extreme attention being paid to the finer details. 

You look at most CrossFit athletes and you see someone who you think is the epitome of fit.  They have strong and athletic looking bodies but under a watchful eye of a highly skilled coach there may be things still lacking.  That is where a coach like Julian Pineau of Strong Fit comes in.  He is a strong believer in making sure that everything is working how it should be and that you have the find the "Key Log".

He uses this definition of the "Key Log" as finding the one thing that is off and lacking in your body that can fix multiple things instead of going one by one and not actually getting anywhere.  We often hear that adage that "I'm stronger there" and he doesn't believe that exists and that it is all a compensation for another area you are lacking that needs to be fixed before you break.

Here are some of his big Take Aways:

  • Change Grips: Never stay in a pronated (hands down) grip all the time (explained below).  Switch up to neutral and supinated.
  • If you squat plateaus: You either don't know how to squat or your posterior chain is weak.
  • Train your hammies: And don't expect them to be explosive, they stabilize
So what does that all mean.  We will break it down a little more.

The first one about rotating grips is huge.  If you continue to stay in a pronated grip (palms down) you maintain that rotation through your forearms and up to the elbow.  Continually being stuck in this position can then go up to your shoulder and start causing problems in your shoulder by internally rotating it and adding to any rounded shoulder posture you may have.  This puts tension all through the shoulder that doesn't need to be there and can still be a problem even if you are doing rows.  Switch your grips.

When you squat you are meant to use your posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, etc) and most of us don't and become knee squatters.  Meaning our knees bend or "break" before we push the hips back and we load the knees and quads way more than needed.  You are robbing yourself of some major strength gains by not engaging your glutes early in the process and using all that mass and power on your back side.  (Great article by Elitefts on how to get external rotation HERE).

Your hamstring is a great stabilizing muscle when it comes to weightlifting and shouldn't be ignored. It is the connection from the glute to the foot and if you have underdeveloped hamstrings then your calves and feet must work harder and this can lead you to Achilles issues.  Tearing your Achilles later down the line by jumping is how you tore it not why you tore it.  Address it early.

Here is a link to the Barbell Podcast with Julian Pineau (well worth the watch) and make sure you pay attention to detail as it can make or break you. 

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