Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Increasing Squat Power in the Hole

About a month ago we discussed the issue brought about by the article by Mike Boyle on the "Death of Squatting". For the most part it was the issue of the back being a weak transducer and failing long before the power in our legs is gone. Although I disagreed with the article, this was not a point that could be argued. However, lets look at one way that via squatting we can increase the power of getting out of the hole (bottom of the movement) and hopefully doing it quick enough that we are out of trouble before our back issues kick in. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but here are 2 of my favorite.

1 1/4 Squats: This exercise is performed exactly as it sounds. You are going to do a 1 and 1/4 squat. To do this exercise we are going to squat down beyond parallel. Once down in the hole we are going to come up 1/4 of the way to just above parallel and then head back down into the hole. This time we are going to take the squat all the way back to the start position, completing a 1 and 1/4 rep. This will allow us to overload and work the bottom portion of our squat, which in turn will help move bigger poundage out of the bottom.

Weight Release Jumps: This is an explosive dumbbell movement and you need a plyo box (not necessary but I'll explain). Choose 2 heavy dumbbells (don't want to prescribe a weight b/c everyone will need a different weight based on themselves). Take one in each hand and let them hang down beside your legs. Squat down in a slow controlled fashion (appx. 3-4 seconds)until you are below parallel. On the concentric portion you are going to explode by pushing down through your feet as hard as you can. Once you are approx. 1/4 ROM into the up phase release the weights and continue with your explosion jumping to land on the plyo box. Step down and repeat. This will help increase our explosiveness and ability to turn it around when get down at the bottom of the movement and explode up.

Cartoon of the day

Deadlift 3-3-3-3-3
Weighted Pull Up 5-5-5-5-5
* Do all dead sets before starting into the pull ups