Using the “break the bar” cue for upper body focus

break the bar upper body cueOne of the best technical focuses you should think about in your upper body training is the “break the bar” cue. To perform this technique properly, there is a good chance you will need to fundamentally change the way you currently perform all your upper body exercises; be prepared to go through a several month process of re-learning and re-building your technique and strength. Continue reading

How high demand for external hip rotation in squats creates a road to perfection

wide stance squatDoing squats with a heavy emphasis on external rotation can prove frustrating, but we encourage it for a number of reasons. Greater external rotation from your hips during the wide stanced squat supports your feet arches, creates a more stable position for the knees, allows a more vertical back angle and activates the glutes more. Beyond these physical benefits, it is also a great indicator of what you are doing wrong. I like to describe it as a squat technique which puts a magnifying glass on technical faults. The slightest errors get amplified significantly, not allowing you to get away with movements you might be able to with other techniques. And that’s a sure road to improvement. Continue reading

How to keep your thighs externally rotated during the squat

external hip rotation and squatsThe next component in in the squat is using the hip muscles (glutes) to externally rotate the thighs throughout the exercise. Use of the hips is an often forgotten element of good squat technique, but without understanding and using these muscles properly you will limit the transfer of force from the legs to the back. And, as we have covered in the quad strength article, relying predominantly on your back strength leads to an imbalanced excessive forward leaning squat. So how do you effectively use your hips in the squat? Continue reading