Awesome thread! very useful...i use scalpular contractio when benching.. i feel more power this way...but its difficlut to incorpate when doing any dumbell movements...any thoughts?
Never never never bounce at the top of a squat! When you come to the top of a repetition and you bounce, this creates a meniscus crushing effect. The meniscus is essentially a shock absorber that lies between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). It is easy to get caught bouncing because once you blow through your sticking point in a squat, you power the weight up and consequently end up bouncing from time to time. Unlike the previous tip, this one wont help you move more weight but I can assure you that bouncing at the top of a squat WILL damage your knees in time. The meniscus spreads the impact of pressure at the knee joint. This happens with movements like landing from a vertical jump (the shock is absorbed by the eccentric contractions of the muscles and the meniscus), however, the meniscus is not meant to take the extreme stress that comes along with hundreds of pounds on our back coupled by the "rebound" effect created by bouncing.
In conclusion, move the weight up slowly in a controlled fashion and dont power the weight up during the last third of the movement causing a bouncing effect. Please fellow brothers of iron, dont give the wonderful squat a bad rep by causing yourselves knee pain. I hear it far too often, "Dont squat because it's bad for your knees!". Do it correctly and it is one of the greatest, most effective movements from growth and functional stand point!
great tip, you guys dont want to tear a meniscus, its not the end of the world but its certainly not any fun.
Creator- congrats on finishing up. Will you be graduating this semester or in may? Are you thinking about grad school?
Prize- I really like it! It is definitely getting tough but all the information ties together nicely and it is very interesting.
Bam- I wont be graduating until next spring. At this point I will most likely be entering grad school for an MS in human performance.
Braaq- The cremaster muscle is often difficult to contract properly. It is usually found to hypertrophy most in those with frequent nocturnal emissions. biggrinsanta Take that and lionhearts suggestion into consideration!
Weightlifters refer to this as the decceleration phase of the lockout. You essentially want the bar to have become weightless as you lock it out because your body has caught it at the same time as it has reached its apex. A good way to practice is with an unloaded bar after having performed a plyometric exercise. An example would be explosive/clapping pushups followed by unloaded bar benching.
Leg drive - Basically, you want to drive your heels into the ground while still keeping your butt on the bench. Keep your glutes tight and upper back tight (like you just discovered) and your body will have a much more solid base to press off of.
Upper back work - Keep doing a lot of upper back work and hit your upper back frequently while keeping volume the same. For example, instead of doing 3-4 upper back movements in one day spread them out over the course of 2 or 3 days. Also, remember to incorporate proper scapulae depression and retraction when doing rows or pulldown/pull up movements
Core - Do things that will hit your core but not any type of crunch. Pallof press and pallof press isometric holds, hip thrusts, pillar bridges, etc.
Lockout strength - Even if your triceps are not a sticking point in the movement do a lot of lockout movements for your bench (board presses, reverse band presses, floor presses, presses with chains, etc). This will help overload the CNS which will in turn increase all lifts, increase confidence and increase your ability to strain while still thinking your way through the lift.
Thanks Creator. I just tried some press ups with scapular retraction and found them bloody hard but definitely felt more in the pecs. I'm sure it will get easier with practice.
I'm very interested to see if it helps the pushing movements I have in my sport rugby. I just don't know how i'm gonna train myself to apply this movement while playing as you have no time to think.Got any suggestions?
With all this talk about rowing and scapula depression/retraction I think this is the perfect article to throw in here. One of my fav's:
Mike addresses the proper way to row and then will show some very common mistakes you see in the gym. One things for sure, you will probably have to drop the weight quite a bit but it's definitely worth it!
^^ Nice link bro!
Always always always dorsiflex the feet at the ankle when doing hamstring curls.
This is something that I rarely see in the gym. Dorsiflexion is when the foot is flexed toward the body as opposed to plantarflexion where the toes are pointed away from the body (see pic below). I will often have a client do a hamstring curl and they always seem to plantarflex their feet to assist with the movement. When complete, I ask where they felt it and they point to there gastrocnemius aka calves. To fully understand why we must always dorsiflex while doing hamstring curls, we must understand the anatomy of the posterior leg. The gastrocnemius (calves) attach superior (above) the knee joint. Therefore, the calves CAN most definitely assist in flexion of the knee joint. Clients are amazed at the difference this small adjustment can make towards hamstring stimulation and to be honest, I was too. In conclusion, save your gastrocs for their intended exercises and get the most out of your hamstring curls!