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Old 05-15-2011, 09:56 AM   #1
Ben Byram
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Default Upper-back rounding in the front squat

I don't know if this is strictly a flexibility issue, but this seems a reasonable place to post this question...

I'm trying to teach my girlfriend to front squat, but she's finding it difficult to hold the correct body position. I've cued her to keep the elbows high, the chest lifted, looking forward as she sits down between the knees. But as she descends the upper-back rounds, the elbows drop, and the bar rolls into her hands and off her shoulders.

I've suggested she practice holding onto a door handle squat deep and try to lift her chest (a la Dan John) as well as practicing light triples before every workout.

She has a little kyphosis which I'm trying to remedy with face-pulls and rows with 1s pauses at the top. Should I add more work for her upper-back, band pull-aparts maybe to strengthen between her shoulder blades or just keep practicing?

Am I on the right track with this or does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
Samuel Hughes
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i posted this movement a while back called a "g-row". it was money for holding my back extension in the squat: (see 7:57 mark) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4e5cuyqjqw I add a pause at the mid and high points and emphasize the squeeze/extension throughout. it doesn't need to be too heavy or more than one quality set before she squats. also, on the descent make sure she is very controlled and is thinking about having her chest up. people tend to lose their back in reversing the direction of the weight, so lower the speed/momentum until the strength and technique is there to do it at a natural pace.

let me know if this helps!
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
Ben Byram
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Thanks. I've seen some this guy's videos before and they're class!

That said I don't think that exercise would be practical to do at our gym, and if I'm honest I don't like the look of the loading on the lower back. She's doing back extensions and hammer rows with a pause which tick the same boxes without the loading on the lumbar spine.

I'm glad it worked for you though.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:28 PM   #4
Chris Butler
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Ben, Have you tried using straps?
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
Samuel Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Byram View Post
Thanks. I've seen some this guy's videos before and they're class!

That said I don't think that exercise would be practical to do at our gym, and if I'm honest I don't like the look of the loading on the lower back. She's doing back extensions and hammer rows with a pause which tick the same boxes without the loading on the lumbar spine.

I'm glad it worked for you though.
not sure where you see this loading, but if you have her do a back extension with a 10-25lb plate in her hands and add a row at the top, you have the gist of the movement. i definitely see it helping more than hammer rows

edit: my .02 is to give it a try yourself:
get on the back ext with a plate on the ground. reach down and put your hands on it. extend your upper back, take the slack out of your arms then perform a back extension, focusing on holding your upper back extended. give a good pause at the top, squeezing both your glutes/hams and holding that upper back extension. row the weight to your chest and give another good pause.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:07 AM   #6
Ben Byram
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Chris: I don't actually own any straps. It's more the bar is rolling into her hands loading her wrists and arms as opposed to slipping out of her grip. I feel if her back didn't round and she improved her flexibility a little it would sit nicely on her shoulders as I would like. We're only talking really light weights, but it's just too uncomfortable for her currently to get any benefit out of it.

Samuel: Fair play, I couldn't see anywhere to do the horizontal version and it looks a bit stressful with the legs straight potentially, but what do I know! Doing in on a 45 degree BE with a plate is doable. I'll have a play around with it before getting the missus to give it a try. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Byram View Post
Chris: I don't actually own any straps. It's more the bar is rolling into her hands loading her wrists and arms as opposed to slipping out of her grip. I feel if her back didn't round and she improved her flexibility a little it would sit nicely on her shoulders as I would like. We're only talking really light weights, but it's just too uncomfortable for her currently to get any benefit out of it.
You wrap the straps around the bar and hold the straps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQb0OZCtqBk
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:31 AM   #8
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Will that makes much more sense....haha. Perhaps I should have given what you said a little more thought....

I may well try that too. Cheers!
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