Wow, I know it’s kind of cliche, but where in the bloody hell did the time go?
3 years ago yesterday, I coached my first session as my own boss after I decided it was time to leave the relative safety of the big box gym and see how could get on by my own self. To everyone that has walked through the door, messaged me a question, gotten a program from me (hopefully you didn’t hate me too much after) and supported me in many other various fashions, thank you. Thank you all, for rocking the badge, trusting me and putting up with the shenanigans that can ensue sometimes. People are why I do what I do, especially those that need help, like I once did. I’m looking forward to another year of helping people, getting them super strong and super confident.🙌
I think year 4 will be a big year of growth, let’s see if I’m right, this time next year.
Happy Monday everyone! For those of you that are more like Garfield the cat, don't worry, Tuesday is less than 24 hours away. I've got a quick one for you all to look through while you're trying to shake your case of the Monday's off, kick back and enjoy.
Everyone should squat in some capacity, doesn’t matter how. Many first time and early trainees, have issues with performing a proper squat, let alone with a bar. As long as you’re not looking to enter a powerlifting meet in the next week, this isn’t really a problem. The problem usually rears when someone tries to put the square peg in the round hole, as it were, and stick someone under a bar. There are a few squat variations that will likely suit that square peg better. This little beauty is one of them that I’ve used more and more.
This technically uses a bar as well, but not quite in the same sense that you think of, so this gets a pass. This variation really allows those that struggle with squatting to get their spine in a more neutral position (much happier) and you can load this sucker up once you get the hang of it, if you choose to do so. I suggest using a box to help with getting the weight in the right position. Also, if you find that you're hitting said box, take a couple steps to the left or right before you start.
I’ve use this variation in many was for many reasons;
I'm sure everyone can find a place or purpose to use this variation. Go give it a try, and have a great week!
A happy end of the week to everyone (almost there, YES). For those that may not have noticed, I'm making a concerted effort to get some new content up on a more regular basis for you all to enjoy. Today is likely to speak to every one of us, so sit back and have at it.
It happens to everyone, myself included, that creaky cranky shoulder that absolutely bugs the daylights out of you. For most people, when that happens, your traditional pressing exercises; bench press and military (overhead) press are off the table for the time being. That doesn’t mean that we throw out the movement pattern entirely, rarely a good idea. These are 6 of my upper body pressing go-to’s when clients’ shoulders aren’t cooperating with them.
DB Bench Press
Using Dumbbells instead of a bar provides your shoulders that wiggle room to press from a position that’s more friendly. As no two hips are created the same (yes that means both your own hips) no two shoulders are created the same either, so if your shoulder is getting fussy, forcing it to be locked down on a straight bar is probably not a bright idea.
Football Bar (aka Swiss Bar) Bench Press
Similar to the dumbbell bench, assuming you have access to one of these bars, the different handle angles let you more comfortably position your hands to press without pain. I do find there tends to be a challenge with stabilizing the bar front to back, but that may be a good thing, forcing you to drop the weight and press with good technique.
DB Floor Press
Again, going back to the dumbbell bench, letting your shoulder move independent of one another is helpful. Add on the fact that the floor is going to limit your range of motion (hello there’s a floor stopping it) so if your shoulder is being caused pain at the bottom of your presses, or anywhere near, this takes that possibility right out of the equation.
As mentioned, giving your shoulder a little extra room to breathe and move when they’re giving you trouble is huge. A landmine press gives you that extra room to move and allows you to get some weight overhead by leaning in a bit at the finish. You can do these standing, 1/2 kneeling or tall kneeling. I prefer a stagger stance when standing, myself. Keeps me from cranking through my back to get that extra bit of overhead movement.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to one of these babies, you’ve hit the jackpot and should count your blessings. In any case, it provides much of the same benefit (and relief) as a landmine press, except you get both arms involved now. If you have a way to elevate it to start, it makes getting it in position just a tad easier. The multiple grip options obviously makes things easier on those days when the shoulder is just in no mood.
Bottoms Up KB 1-Arm Press
Bottoms up variations force your shoulder to stabilize in areas that might not be so stable, but should be, see rotator cuff. This variation is definitely going to make you back off the weight and concentrate on good form, I know such a tough life. I prefer the 1/2 kneeling version, but obviously there are others. Aim for your elbow to be in line with your ear when you get overhead.
Next time you go to do your normal pressing movements and your shoulder just doesn’t want to seem to calm down, maybe try one of these guys instead. Be on the lookout for No Pain Training Groups in late March. Go out there, and get after it (even if you have a bit of shoulder pain).
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS