Here is another guest post from Apprentice Coach May!
Hopefully over the past few weeks you’ve attended at least one class with a squat focus. If so, you will have noticed a sudden addition of the elastic band to our squats, tied or wrapped around your thighs. No, we aren’t crazy (yet), but we are trying to help you get better at, and get more out of, your squat!
Squats are not just an exercise for your quads. Properly executed squats should also recruit your glutes, core and many other muscles. One of the ways for us to tell if someone is focusing only on using their quads in a squat is by the tendency to have “collapsing”, or an internal rotation, of the knees.
By wrapping a relatively low-resistance band around your thighs, it can help you be more aware of your knees and how to properly move them. Another good cue that we Coaches use to help you incorporate some glute action into your squats is to ask you to visualize “unscrewing” the floor with your feet. This “unscrewing” action will also activate your glute muscles and add a hip thrust motion to your squat. This hip thrust helps to ensure a full hip extension. This type of muscle recruitment will then lessen the load on your quads, give a bit of explosiveness to the movement, and allow you to lift heavier weights overall.
Looking at your squat from the perspective of technique and integrity, you are also much more structurally sound and stable from side-to-side when you have your I.T. band and your glutes engaged. The hip thrust motion coming from your glutes will also help ensure that your lower back isn’t recruited for the lifting, which is a big no-no. It also looks more elegant and that’s very important! 😉 Taking pride in your movement does help motivate you to do well and to improve, believe me.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that squatting isn’t all about burning out your quads, and you would be missing out on a lot of benefits if you didn’t recruit and train all the right muscles!
Buy In – Widow Makers – 20 rep back squat
Yup that’s right! More squats 🙂 This is the second to last week of widow makers. Have you increased your weight? Make sure to add 5-10lbs if you were able to make it through the weight last week with perfect technique. Warmup up with some air squats with a rubber band before you warmup your back squat with weight.
WOD – “Good Morning Vietnam”
This is a partner WOD! We did this WOD when we first moved in the gym. Name theme is – favourite cartoon character
4 rounds (each) of:
Buddy carry uphill from in front of the Zone to the top of Pembroke
Both partners jog or walk back down to the start
Partner 1 carries partner 2 to the top then partner 2 carries partner 1 to the top. This is one round out of 4
Games Prep – Partner who is doing the carrying will carry a 55/70lb KB or DB as well
Zone 3 – substitute a barbell with 95/135 for a partner (carry it in back squat position, both partners carry it down together). Use the shortest barbells possible
Zone 2 – substitute a barbell with 75/115
Zone 1 – scale barbell weight as needed
Cash Out – 3 x 1 minute L-sit holds with a 1 minute break between. Rest as needed, but try to stay up for the majority of the minute