Posted On:7/27/2008 8:02pm
Style: creonte on hiatus
^^^ Ditto. Russ, you gotta keep your trunk up and vertical. Obviously, some lean forward will occur (depending on your flexibility), but you need to aim to be as vertical as possible (see the previous two pictures of the ladies doing it, both with a clean grip and with a bbuilder grip.) It's the bending forward that eventually gets to you and you inevitably have to let the load roll forwards when it gets too heavy.
Whether you use a clean grip or a bbuilder grip, you want to imagine your shoulders and clavicle to be like hooks in a pair of squats stands. They are holding the bar whether you are on the top of the squat or at the bottom of the hole.
Russ, One thing you can do is do zombie squats with a dovel or something light, lighter than a barbell. Even an unloaded barbell is heavy enough to sink in and be in position. With a dovel, you gotta have good form when you squat up and down. Otherwise, the bar would roll over one of your shoulders.
A zombie squat is basically a front squat where you place the bar on the shoulders, raise the arms a bit, balancing the bar so that it rolls forward away from your throat until it rests in the little holes made up in the shoulders. So you get the dovel, put in place, raise and extend your arms like a zombie and squat away.
Also, play with your foot placement. Maybe you are too inflexible to squat straight down with a shoulder-width foot placement. So take a wide stance. Even point your feet as far away as possible (see the picture above). Then squat away, with every other rep turning your feet inwards a bit and closing your stance. If you can easily squat from a wide stance, feet pointing away to a very narrow stance, then you are in business.
Do the same with overhead squats with the dovel as it will help with your hip and upper thoracic mobility.
Originally Posted by bitparity
On a related note, I'm completely unable to achieve a proper power clean grip for either cleans or front squats. I've tried tricep/wrist stretching but I wonder if having shorter meatier arms makes it more difficult.
It's not only wrist and elbow flexibility. It's also glenohumeral flexibility. More precisely, flexibility of the inferior capsule of your shoulder (and to a degree the anterior capsule), lat/teres major flexibility, as well as upper thoraccic mobility.
Before you continue further, read the following page and see what the inferior capsule is:
If you are not familiar how to stretch that sucker, please refer to this (do all stretches): http://www.atlantaswimming.com/healt...es/Page417.htm
In addition to that, check the upper thoraccic mobility drills on the StrongLifts.com website.
That's basically what I've found out as I'm struggling with this grip. I can position myself off a squat stance, but it's a lot harder off a clean or off the bottom part from my sawhorses.
Anyways, first thing first, you do not need to have your elbows pointing directly forward (90 degrees to the coronal plane) with your hands strictly at shoulder width or just a bit out. Open your hands a bit and let your elbows point outwards, around 45 degrees. Then work on your posterior capsule and upper thoraccic flexibility and mobility, which will eventually let your close your elbows in.
Originally Posted by bitparity
Also, I know the bar is supposed to rest on my shoulders, but inevitably it feels like it's going to crack my clavicle. What am I doing wrong here?
Your torso is leaning backwards and you are lacking shoulder and upper thoraccic mobility. If you don't lean backwards the bar will roll forwards, but as you lean backwards you gillotine yourself. You need to increase your internal and external shoulder rotator flexibility and your upper thoraccic mobility. Wrist and elbow flexibility won't do jack if cannot move your shoulders and your T vertebrae into position.
Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.
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Posted On:7/27/2008 8:04pm
You can also use straps to get used to the oly front squat.
* from straighttothebar.com
Grab the straps closer and closer, using that as a stretch.
is badder than you
Posted On:7/27/2008 10:57pm
Thanks for the assistance, guys. I didn't realize how far I was leaning forward.
I'm going to work on my calf (and maybe hip) flexibility, but the problem is that if you look at the fourth picture I posted, my hamstrings are already touching my calves and I haven't even broken parallel yet (see my sixth bullet point in the previous post). To bring my torso upright without my center of mass going behind my heels, I'll have to slide my knees forward, which means that I'm either A) further above parallel or B) my knee is flexed even further (again, see sixth bullet point). I suppose that I might be able to dodge that by taking a wider stance... probably worth trying the next time I'm at the gym.
Also, the straps thing looks like it might help. The problem I have with calf-hamstring contact plays out in my upper body with forearm-bicep contact (see second picture).
Last edited by TheRuss; 7/27/2008 11:00pm at .
Posted On:7/28/2008 7:26am
Don't worry if your knees extend beyond your toes (a little). For some people, it's just the way their body flexes down. Any discomfort you may feel most likely is a flexibility issue. You need to open up the hips (high number of bw deep squats would do) , you need to stretch the IT band and hip flexors (see samsom's stretches), you need to stretch your groins and you need to improve your upper thoraccic mobility (in addition to increasing your dorsiflexion, lower back and glute flexibility.)
Any inflexibility on any of those areas will put tremendous pressure on the knee when you squat down. Also notice that by lower back flexibility I mean flexibility on the lower back muscles where they attach to the hip, not on the spine itself (you don't want hypermobility on the lower spine.)
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