The next step in correcting upper body position in the squat is to take the proper core stabilization we learned and integrate this stabilization all the way up to your shoulders supporting the bar. This will involve where you place your hands and what you do with them.
We have already reviewed the importance of maintaining a proper T-Spine position and not flaring the chest upwards, as well as actively cuing deep spinal stabilization to achieve this positioning. Now that you are able to achieve maximum core stability using these cue and proper abdominal pressurization for bracing, you are primed for the next step.
The next step in the process is to learn the impact shoulder mobility and hand position can have on working against proper positioning. This video teaches you how to find those limitations and apply them to how you hold the bar. It also details how you can then integrate your lats into the lift as a stabilizer for the upper body. You can create a solid base by using your elbow and hand position on the bar to fire the lats. With the rigid braced lats supporting the shoulder girdle and tying into the stabilized core you are now ready to hit a new squat PR.
The writing of this article was prompted by all the social media posts I’ve seen talking about men’s mental health. Apparently November is men’s mental health month. That is unless you’re struggling with your own mental health issues. Then, every month, week, and day may very well be an ongoing struggle. Although throughout this article I’ll be referencing comparative data between men and women and differing demographics, the point is not to prop up men's suffering above women or anyone else for that matter. It’s simply there to elucidate the current state of men’s mental health, which is the central focus of this article. “Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution” (1). This mentality exists in contrast to the current lack of awareness pertaining to the drivers of psychological ill-health. Social media and articles routinely discuss what to do if you’re depressed, anxious, suicidal, etc. But seldom does anyone discuss the complexity of the subject. Unfortunately, without truly understanding the issues that lead to ill-health it’s unlikely to come up with an effective solution and subsequent prevention strategies. Therefore the aim of this article is as follows:
Optimizing exercise range of motion to maximize muscle growth is a popular topic to discuss. As new research emerges, it often leaves you with more questions about the fundamental mechanisms and application of hypertrophy training. Mechanical tension is known as a primary driver of hypertrophy. Therefore it stands to reason that training a muscle through larger ranges of motion will create more tension, resulting in a greater hypertrophic stimulus. Although this makes sense at face value, it’s ultimately an unsatisfactory answer. At deeper levels of analysis, mechanical tension alone (or at least our current model) can not explain some of the observed outcomes we see both in the literature and anecdotally. The aim of this article is to provide a brief review of the topic, provide context to the ROM discussion, and offer practical recommendations to implement into your own training.