Yesterday's post introduced the back squat. If you feel the back squat is easy or you'd like to try an alternative, the front squat is a good choice. There are two different grips shown. The easier approach is to use the cross-arm grip.
The front squat puts the load in front of your body. It will feel like it's pulling you forward forcing you to use your core and lumbar muscles to hold you tall. If you have difficulty staying tall, you may need to return to the back squat or work on some thoracic (mid-back) mobility.
Stay tuned for future posts where we'll be talking about mobility exercises to help you get deeper, taller, and more control in your squat.
We're returning to where we left off last week. The last time we talked about squatting we discussed loading your squat or going deeper into the squat. This week we'll take a look at the front and back squat. We'll start with the back squat.
Muscle activation studies comparing the front and back squat don't show a huge variation between the two with the exception of your low back muscles. The front squat shows higher activation of your low back muscles. In theory, this is because the load is pulling you forward where the load during a back squat is directed down the spine. Of course, it's all dependent on form.
I've given a couple tips on form for the back squat and we'll take a look at the front squat tomorrow. If you have difficulty staying tall through your torso, the front squat may be a good alternative.
Comments are welcome!
There's been a lot of debate surrounding foam rolling. People use it because it feels good and it helps them move better. Wait, it may not feel good while you're doing it, but it feels better after, haha.
We don't understand the specific mechanisms behind why it works. What research has shown rolling decreases muscle soreness. In theory, if you have less muscle soreness, you'll be able to perform better due to decreased soreness. Recently, a few small studies have supported this notion.
Here's a video showing foam rolling for your legs. There are many variations in one video. Play with what works for you. If foam rolling is painful, use less pressure. If it doesn't create some soreness, increase the pressure. Don't work over bony spots. That may create some problem areas.
Hope you like it!
Most of us live and work in a forward world. What I mean is that a lot of us sit at a desk leaning forward looking at a screen or we stand while working on things directly in front of us leaning forward. I imagine we've all been sore at the end of a work day and have been able to attribute that soreness to our posture.
Posture is something many of us struggle with on a daily basis. We try to find that perfect spot. However, there's no perfect posture. The best posture is your next position. Keep on changing it up. It changes the stress on tissues to let them rest and let others do some of the work.
Another solution to postural soreness/ stiffness is to do some stretching. It'll help things calm down and get them to loosen up. Check out the video below for some good options. One of the key components of these stretches is breathing. Breathing is a powerful tool to get you more mobility while stretching.
Have a great weekend!
If you think back over the past 6 months, how many times have you reached your arm above shoulder level? How about straight up overhead? Yeah, me too....
Our body and brain are super smart. They're also very efficient. They prioritize what we need to get through our average day. Living, breathing, working, and taking care of ourselves, family, and friends, those are the basics. That means the mobility we need to do certain tasks may not be available when we need it. This may lead to injury or soreness.
One of the common areas we lose mobility is our shoulder. If you lift your arm straight above your head, can you get your arm in line with your ear? What if you lift it out to the side as high as you can? Can you keep your arm in line with your ear?
If not, one of the sources of this lack of mobility may be your shoulder. Don't worry. You can work on it. Take it slow. Be gentle. These two exercises will help you get there.
Let me know what you think.
We've discussed the basics for a squat. There's more we can work on in the basic squat. We'll get to it later. Right now, focus on getting the basics. If the basics are easy and you feel you're ready for the next step, there are many different directions to go. Two options are to squat deeper or add some weight into a goblet squat.
If you have difficulty squatting deeply or if you don't squat deeply on a regular basis, don't force a deep squat. Instead work on getting lower over time. Getting into a deep squat isn't for everyone. Another option may be to add weight to your squat. One way to do this is the goblet squat. The weight is held directly in front of you where it can help you get deeper into your squat. The weight stays close to your body and your base of support, which makes balance and control easier.
If you have any challenges, don't jump into these squats. Ask someone qualified for some help.
I've been working on how to use social media. I think I've got it. The audio is a bit weak. My next one will be better.
As promised, here's a video of how to work on a basic squat. It's the fundamentals of the squat with no bells and whistles. The squat ties so many things together from our head to our toes. We take it for granted because we live in a world where a lot of us sit for our jobs. Don't lose your squat. It protects your joints and keeps you moving.
The first thing we should work on is good form. Once we've got the form down, then we can challenge ourselves further. Work on it and let me know if you have any questions. I'll post variations later this week!
After almost a year of hard work, I've been able to open and fulfill my goal of owning my own Physiotherapy clinic. I thought about what type of clinic I'd refer my friends and family to and modelled my clinic after this. The clinic is focused on you to ensure I do my best to reach your goals. I offer some different services that I'm working to develop as the clinic grows. I'm always open to feedback and comments.
One of my goals is to share a lot of great information across social media and this blog. I'm learning about social media as I go so there may be a few hiccups. If you have any topics you'd like covered, let me know. In the mean time, stay tuned!
Make your day great!
Strive Physiotherapy & Performance
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