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Old 04-05-2007, 05:50 PM   #1
Jesse Woody
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Default Squats, swings, and ballistics...scaling

Ok, two quick questions. I have a client who has ridiculously long femurs in relation to the length of her torso. As such, the best I've been able to accomplish as far as squats is a rather wide stance, partial range of motion squat with a SEVERELY angled torso. DJ's "goblet squats" work relatively well, but the shear distance her hips drop behind your torso due to the long femurs even makes those sketchy. Now, one issue is that she has very little strength, and we're working on that, as well as trying to make her aware of "what her ass does for a living" as coach Glassman would put it. That being said, I was wondering if anybody here has any experience with this and had perhaps found a better way than plugging away with goblet squats, squat balances on a pole, wider stance, X-fit's "squat therapy" with the box, etc.

Second question, I have another client who came to me with a bulging lumbar disk. He is rather strong and we've worked to find functional ranges of motion for certain exercises. The problem is the fact that he's a hard worker and tries to kick ass on every workout possible. We did some KB swings today and I had him start VERY light with a short range of motion. When he said it felt perfectly find, I allowed him to do a short (10:00) circuit that included SDHP's and push-presses. At the end, he said that his right lower back hurt, near his pelvis. From where he pointed, it seemed to me to be muscularly related (such as a tightened spinal erector from holding form for 10:00) but it still scares the living shit out of me. What CAN he safely do with a bulging disk? I've been researching this a lot and you get so many conflicting views that it gets confusing. Any experience here? I know swings and other ballistic movements are definitely on the fringe of possibility (hence the slow ramp-up today...maybe not slow enough) but what movements do we have that don't cause excessive spinal loading...or is there some way to work this out slowly and bring him back to functional levels of strength?

Any help on either of these issues would be much-appreciated!
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:15 AM   #2
James Hall
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I would try prone planks, from either the elbows and knees or elbows and toes if he tolerates it. Also, using Romanian Deadlifts (opposite of the Goblet squats using a DB, hanging it low). Quite a few people report decreased symptoms afterward, I suppose because of the firing of the erectors. I've also used reverse GH raise, upper body supported and both LE's raising.
Just my $.02. Good luck!
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:39 AM   #3
Jake Thompson
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For the long femurs, Front Squats with enough weight to counter the "forward lean" and use the RKC/pwr to people squat where you pull the ass down with the hip flexors. Using this during process during a KB class I was at, almost got my ass to the ground.

With the disk, extension and decompression activities following all loading exercises. The issue you are describing sounds more like an SI joint (can't tell without assessment but?), he was likely loading one leg a lot more than the other. Single leg hip flexion/extension activities followed by isometric adduction will usually clear that stuff up.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:14 AM   #4
Robb Wolf
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Good advice thus far. With the disk I'd be wary of overhead work unless shoulder flex is VERY good, at least in the context of a WOD in which form can deteriorate in the best of folks. Shortened ROM and light weight=SMART!

For long femurs...I'd still get in and foam roll everything on her. Despite the leverage disadvantages she may have some adhesion's/scar tissue that limits ROM and proper alignment. An ART practitioner can work miracles here as well.
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:02 PM   #5
Eva Claire Synkowski
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not much to add here - except we've got a similar female at our gym (no, not me). her trainer has her doing a ton of front squats with kettlebells and mobility drills. i noticed a change in form (although it still needs work) even after a few weeks.
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:21 AM   #6
Pierre Auge
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you going to be in Ann Arbour next week? I might have some options for you in both cases.
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