Are you doing these ?
Sometimes its the small little things that make or break that last rep , a PR on gamed or even overall confidence. I want to talk about a few things that I believe are the most important part of the BACK SQUAT , even before performing the movement itself.
No matter how strong you are, if you are not doing these, you are not maximizing your potential.
What do you do when you get under the bar in squat rack?
- Do you just get under the bar with anger and just stand it up?
- Upper vs lower body ?
- Foot placement?
- Hip Position ?
Let me start by talking about getting under the bar with anger and just popping it off the rack. By doing this you are not tight. I mean, the odd time you nail it bang and it may feel great. Majority of the time you will walk out super unbalanced and just get it up any way possible.
When taking the bar out of the rack , are you using upper ( torso) or lower body? I see this quite frequently where people literally performing a back extension ( mild ) taking the weight out the rack , all back.
Do you have the same stance taking the weight out of the rack as you do when you perform the squat? What I mean here is , if your feet are under your hips while unracking , are they under your hips when squatting. This point here has probably never crossed your mind before.
Are your hips under the bar when taking it out of the rack ? Are they in front or behind ? Are they low or high? Depending on your levers it will vary from person to person. Regardless, it will come down to a few things.
So I haven't even talked about squatting the weight yet and you can see that there are a lot of things to consider. So how should you approach the unrack ?
1. TAKE YOUR TIME !!!
Whether in training or competition , you have more than enough time to get a proper set up. If you train this way you will be able to replicate it time after time.
2. UPPER BODY SHOULD NOT MOVE , USE LEGS
When un racking the weight, your core should be set ( check my youtube for video ) , upper back should be tight ( squeezing shoulder blades together ) and hands should have a good grasp on the bar. Once this is done, it should stay that way. NEUTRAL , NO FLEXION OR EXTENSION
3. SAME STANCE
When un racking the weight take a look at your stance and try to replicate it when you perform your walkout and keep your feet in the same position. By doing this you will limit the amount the bar is moving ( up and down and side to side) , you will save energy, keep your upper body positioning and stay tight. By taking a wider or more narrow stance then you had un racking the weight , it puts your body in a different position and changes the weight distribution / muscles being used.
4. HIP POSITION
Regardless or lever lengths you are performing a hip and knee extension to stand the weight straight up. You want to make sure that your hips are getting under the bar and you are performing the knee / hip extension simultaneously. This will make the weight feel much lighter and limit the amount of weight your lower back will take and a stable walk out.
A lot more goes on in the setup as well and I can talk about this forever. I believe these are the major aspects to focus on with the un racking phase of the BACK SQUAT.
Video to come in the future.