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Squat University  Dr. Aaron Horschig's guide πŸ“šempowering you to ⬇️pain, optimize performance & find your TRUE STRENGTH πŸ‹πŸ½My squat warm up video linked belowπŸ‘‡πŸΌ

https://youtu.be/chvqGRJnB0g

Are you an Olympic weightlifter or a CrossFitter who performs the olymipc lifts (clean and snatch) regularly? If so, using a controlled bounce turnaround during your squats can be a great way to help train your squat in a way that will carry over to more explosive and powerful snatch and clean. πŸ‹πŸ½
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A controlled bounce when squatting increases explosive power during the ascent. Here is 3 examples of lifters who demonstrate this well. The heavier the weight gets, the slower the descent will naturally become to maintain technique, while a powerful turnaround can help propel tremendous weight upwards. The most important factor is maintaining technique. A controlled bounce is NOT a dive bomb where you drop quickly. Doing so will dramatically decrease your control of the barbell, increase stress to the knees, lead to an off balance ascent. This is a skill that takes a ton of practice to maintain a high level of tension.βœ…
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Start off with just the bar when learning this powerful turnaround. Make you are able to maintain core stability and the bar path remains over your mid foot. If you bounce too quickly and lose stability, the bar will move towards the toes (when viewed from the side) instead of over your mid foot.πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»
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While a bounce increases shear forces on the knee joint, if it is controlled and not excessive, a healthy athlete should be able to easily tolerate it. If you have a history of knee injuries or are currently in pain, I would avoid this quick turnaround.πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
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Shout out to @hookgrip for today's footage. Today's featured athletes are @lydiavalentin, @bernybernardin & @toshikis165j205
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One of my favorite mobility exercises that I perform before every workout is the 'Worlds Greatest Stretch' πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸŒŽ
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This stretch has a few parts to it. First, start by assuming a deep lunge position with your left leg forward. Squeeze your glutes and drive you hips toward the floor. This movement should cause a stretch to be felt in the front of the right hip. While you're in this position you can move around a bit to search out some spots that may be a little stiff. Pause every once and while to squeeze your glutes.βœ…
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Next, drop your left elbow to the ground. Hold for 5 seconds. Finally, rotate the entire upper body up and to the left, ending with the left arm in the air. This last movement helps address the mobility of the thoracic (mid-spine) that is also prone to stiffness.βœ…
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For more mobility drills to perform before your next workout, check out the YouTube video linked in my bio!! πŸ“²πŸ“²πŸ’―βœ…
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Olympian Chad Vaughn @olychad, is demonstrating the "clean pull under". This is an exercise to help develop the speed of pulling under the bar, as well as the skill of staying connected to the barbell. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
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Start by learning the movement in a slow controlled manner with an open barbell. Initiate the clean with a slight leaning back of the torso with your arms straight. From this position your arms and knees will bend simultaneously while you pull yourself under the bar. As he jumps under the bar he makes contact around the parallel position and bounces out in a powerful manner. βœ…
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If you have trouble feeling slow under the bar, catch all of your lifts in the power position, or feel like the bar crashes on you - try this exercise as a part of your warm up the next time you lift.
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In order to lift as much weight as possible in the clean movement, you need to use a bounce in the turnaround bottom position. Let's talk about how and why today πŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌ
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A bounce is a simple term for a plyometric movement. Basically you're using your bodies ability to store energy & release it powerfully like a rubber band being pulled tight and then released all of a sudden. This quick burst of energy allows you to generate tremendous power & lift much more weight than the same movement performed at a slower pace. βœ…βœ…
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As you can see with this lift (captured by @hookgrip) of Lu Xiaojun, the bar makes contact with his chest & shoulders around the parallel squat position. He then rides the weight into the bottom position, bounces & explodes upwards into the standing position.πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ
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The more efficient you are in this movement, the easier it will be to clean weights closer to your 1 RM front squat. πŸ‹πŸ½πŸ‹πŸ½
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Tomorrow I'll share with you a simple drill you can use to work on your speed under the bar & your ability to bounce efficiently out of the bottom. 🀜🏼🀜🏼
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When you place a load on the body with bad technique - it will eventually break down. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but eventually your body can only handle so much before it develops pain & injury sets in. Drop your ego, fix your technique & your body will thank you. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
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I want you to be able to lift huge weights & smash that new PR the next time you get to max out or step on the platform - but I want you to do it the right way. Stop using elite athletes who move big weight with poor form as an excuse. "Well so and so lifts like this so I should be able to as well" doesn't work. Lifting big weight alone only impresses so many - lifting big weights with amazing technique? Now that's something EVERYONE admires. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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Have you ever performed pause or slow descent tempo squats before? They may just be what you need to break through your number plateau or fix your technique! πŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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Pauses and slow descent tempo squats require you to maintain a high level of core stability & postural control during the entire execution of the movement. Basically you force yourself to expose & clear up weak links in your movement control that otherwise would go unnoticed when moving faster. βœ…βœ…This is important for those who seem to lose their core stability & round their back coming out of heavy squatsπŸ€”πŸ€”
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Because you take away the fast turnaround stretch-reflex of the squat (especially with the pause squat) you force yourself to improve concentric strength (the muscle action needed to ascend). This can be particularly helpful for those who feel like they get buried or stuck at the bottom of their heavy squats often. πŸ€›πŸΌ
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These variations can also add a new training stimulus by increasing the amount of time your muscles are placed under tension (TUT). Research has shown this variable can help enhance strength & muscular development. βœ…
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Sets/rep recommendations: for pause squats start with sets of 3 for 3 full second pauses to get used to maintaining your braced core in the bottom. If it's light weight you can let out your breath partially but don't lose your core stability! For slow descents (eccentrics) try sets of 5 for 3 full second descents. Obviously these are rep ranges & numbers you can play around with as a coach, they're by no means a gold standard that can't be deviated from.
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Thank you to @armenian_strength & @maksmironoff for being today's models. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
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Do you have hip flexor pain? Let's talk about a few ways to fix it today! πŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌ
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In my experience, a number of hip flexor injuries occur because the body is over-relying on the Iliopsoas to create core stability. The low back (lumbar spine) as a whole, is an area that requires a ton of stability especially when barbell training. As we lift the barbell, all of the muscles that surround the spine must work in coordination to keep our back from buckling in two. Unfortunately the low back also has a tendency to become unstable. And when this happens our body develops negative compensations like overly tight & painful hip flexors ❌
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These first 2 exercises I demonstrate today I learned from @dr.jacob.harden. The first is a simple isometric (muscle activation without joint movement). Make sure to brace your core 1st & THEN move the legs. Try 2 sets of 10-20 kicks. βœ…Isometric contractions can be a great way to strengthen injured tissues without pushing them into pain during the early phase of the healing process. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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The next step is a bridge with march. Brace your core, bridge and then pull one leg back. If you're properly coordinating movement, the hip flexors will not hurt. βœ…Try 2 sets of 10 Marches before returning back down. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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The last area we want to concentrate on is the lateral rotators of the hip. Research has shown that athletes with Iliopsoas syndrome can often present with weak hip rotation strength and coordination (poor muscle timing). To work on this possible weak muscle group, I want to share the side plank clamshell exercise with you. Plank up & perform 20 clamshells before resting βœ…βœ…
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🎡by @jookthefirst
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To learn more on fixing hip flexor pain, check out the article linked in my bio! πŸ“²
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DO YOU HAVE PAIN IN THE FRONT OF YOUR HIP WHEN LIFTING? You may have a strained hip flexor! Try these tests today πŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌ
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Finding the exact cause of why an athlete has pain in the front of the hip can be a challenge. There may be pain due to the iliopsoas muscle, a labral tear of the hip, or arthritis. If we’re only talking about the iliopsoas muscle, it can be strained, compress the underlying bursa sac (fluid filled bag that prevents friction) or the iliopsoas muscle can snap back and forth over a bony prominence with leg movement. We’re going to focus on these three possibilities within this category, and label it simply Iliopsoas syndrome. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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Iliopsoas syndrome occurs often due to overuse (as opposed to a specific one time tear seen more often with adductor strains). This particular injury therefore can be more prevalent in those who participate in weightlifting, powerlifting or CrossFit.πŸ€”
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If you had positive tests with all of the screens I showed today - check out the article linked in my bio for a few ways to help kick start your recovery!
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Question of the day: did you enjoy this format of IG post (subtitles under the post so you don't need your sound on)?? Let me know in the comment section below! πŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌ
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The squat is all about starting at the hips & staying balanced. This means keeping the bar tracking over your mid-foot. βœ…βœ…
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When the bar tracks forward towards the toes (left video) the body is pushed into an off balanced position. Not only is this a very weak position mechanically, but it also increases the risk of injury as harmful shear forces are placed on the smaller structures of the spine. ❌❌
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By keeping the bar tracking over the middle of the foot (right video) you allow yourself to produce more efficient force & power (aka lift more weight) & do so safely. If you look closely at the right there is a small amount of 'butt wink' (posterior pelvic tilt) however if this movement only takes place at the bottom of a squat & is not excessive - it's likely not as big of a problem as most make it out to be. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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TAKE AWAY: if you have back pain, check your bar path - if you have an unbalanced squat (like the one on the right) during the descent or ascent, you just found a big contributing factor to your problem! πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ
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If the forward bar path occurs during the descent: often a coordination AND/OR ankle mobility problem. 🀜🏼
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If the forward bar path occurred during the ascent: it's often a coordination problem only. Don't ONLY drive your hips up but hips & chest at the same time.πŸ€›πŸΌ
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Are you working to get over your pulled groin? Let's talk about higher level rehab today! πŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌ
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Yesterday, I did a post on early phase rehab for your classic pulled groin (often due to a strain of the adductor longs muscle). While we don’t want to stretch the injured tissues in the early phase of the healing process, eventually some light stretching can be helpful in regaining full hip mobility. Usually this is something we can start about a week or two after the initial injury as long at it is pain free. Hold the stretch I show for 10 seconds and perform 10-15 reps. βœ…
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The next two exercises are more functional strength training exercises. During the initial healing stage from this injury, these types of movements would be painful. Making sure that we can strengthen the adductor in short and lengthened states is key to returning to full health. βœ…
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If you are unable to find relief with your groin pain after performing these exercises, I recommend going to a medical professional (doctor or physical therapist) to assist in your recovery. πŸ‘πŸ»
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If you want to read more on fixing groin pain due to a strained adductor muscle - check out the article linked in my bio!πŸ“²πŸ“²
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Have you recently suffered a pulled groin? (NEW BLOG ARTICLE IN MY BIO) πŸ“²
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The adductor longus is the most commonly injured muscle in your classic β€œpulled groin.” The early stage of rehabbing from a strained adductor longus muscle will consist of three phases:
1️⃣Rest (24-48 hours)
2️⃣Pain free muscle activation
3️⃣Soft tissue mobilization
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Notice how stretching was not included! ❌❌❌❌
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Unlike flexibility, research shows that those who sustain a pulled groin often have a strength imbalance in the muscles that surround the hips. This is especially true of athletes who have weaker adductor muscles compared to the lateral hip or abductor muscles. This means that improving the strength of the adductor muscles must be a priority in the prevention and post-injury rehab program.βœ…
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Initially following an adductor strain, it can be fairly painful to perform any aggressive strengthening to this muscle. So when it comes down to early strengthening, activating the muscle without any movement (called an isometric contraction) can be a great way to kick-start the healing process without placing too much stress on the injured tissues. The ball squeeze is a great exercise to start with βœ…
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Mobilizing the tissues of the inner thigh can also be a great help for relieving pain and promote proper healing of the injured groin. I suggest foam rolling the inner groin for ~2 minutes. See how you feel after. If it's done correctly and at the right intensity, you should feel like you have a little more mobility to your hips and less stiffness in your groin region after. βœ…
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The last thing you want to do is stretch the injured tissues in the initial period following a pulled groin. This will only make things worse. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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For the full blog article on this topic check out the blog article linked in my bio! πŸ“²πŸ“²
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In out pursuit of physical performance accolades, we have lost sight of our movement capabilities. As a society we have rearranged our athletic priories to such an extent that only our performance matters to many. In doing so, we have successfully capsized many athletes' potential & brought upon an injury epidemic. ❌
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You see, it's not that athletes are TOO BIG, TOO FAST, or TOO FAST. The issue is that athletes have become so in a way that is not supported by enough quality movement. Therein lies the problem. Too many athletes today are moving poorly. ❌
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The foundation from which performance potential is built upon is the same one that keeps an athlete safe and injury-free. If you can't squat well with a bodyweight movement, placing weight on your back will ONLY LEAD TO INJURY & REINFORCE THAT POOR MOVEMENT.❌
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My message to you is simple: drop the weight & your ego at the door. Fix your movement & then fix your barbell technique. Because in the end, your body will thank you. βœ…
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