If you want to train hard not only today, but years down the road you need to learn how to modify lifts to best work for you body. In the video below I talk about four modifications you can make to the squat if you feel like tight hips are limiting your depth. These modifications will help take stress off of your hip joints and lower back and allow you to train the squat hard week in and week out.
The ability to squat is one of the most basic human movements. Unfortunately as we age, experience injury, and spend long periods of time sitting at desks and in the car our body loses the valuable mobility that it once had. Loss of mobility in our hips, spine, shoulders, or ankles can make the back squat a difficult and awkward feeling exercise to perform. And despite all of these common mobility restrictions the back squat is one of the most frequently performed exercises in the gym.
Because a mobility restriction makes back squatting a higher risk exercise to perform does this mean that squatting is something you should be avoiding when in the gym? Not necessarily. Like most other exercises you can always make modifications in order to make it safer and more effective for you.
No one has ever gotten weaker from bench pressing, barbell overhead pressing, or back squatting. But many have been injured and have experienced setbacks from incorrectly performing or programming these lifts. When training with these exercises, an injury is most likely to occur for at least one of these four reasons:
- Incorrect Technique
- Poor Mobility
- Too Much Volume in the Gym (Too many sets & reps)
- Too Much Volume from Activities Outside of the Gym
The goal of this article is to educate you on why the overhead athlete is more susceptible to encounter injury from bench pressing, barbell overhead pressing, and back squatting. Once you understand the reasoning for avoiding these exercises, we’ll cover three exercises you should be performing instead that’ll allow you train similar muscles, while keeping your joints in safer positions.
Most of us live in a world where our daily routines involve hours spent in front of a screen, in a car, or on a couch. As the hours you spend sitting accumulate, it’s likely the mobility of your hips, spine, and shoulders will begin to decrease. However, most of us may not see the negative effects of this decreased range of motion until we ask our body to perform an activity that challenges these ranges.
For example, let’s say you used to be a great baseball player in high school and golfed every summer with your buddies. Flash forward years from then and now all of the time you’ve spent at your desk has caused your shoulders to get tight and you no longer have the range of motion you once had. Your golf swing just doesn’t feel right, and throwing a round of batting practice leaves your shoulder feeling sore for days.
In this article we’ll cover four simple steps for how you can improve your thoracic mobility, which will allow your shoulders to feel looser, neck to feel better, and rotational activities like golf, baseball, and tennis feel easier.