Building The Perfect Monster

chris duffin Sep 04, 2014

This series on squatting has been about maintaining proper spine position and bracing during the movement. It has had a specific focus on the often overlooked importance of eliminating thoracic spine extension. To date, we have covered how to create the stability to brace the spine and generate deep spinal stabilization. This starts with the process of creating the correct intra-abdominal pressurization. The second piece in this series covered what you can do to determine the correct hand position based on your current shoulder mobility, and then you use that hand position to improve your squat through incorporation of the lats.

In this final piece of the series I will discuss some of the science behind the approach I have been outlining. Much of this approach is based on Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization from the Prague School of Medicine. My belief is that to create the most efficient strength athlete is to include this methodology in heavy strength training. In the video I...

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Is Hand And Elbow Position Sabotaging Your Squat?

chris duffin Sep 04, 2014

The next step in correcting upper body position in the squat is to take the proper core stabilization we learned and integrate this stabilization all the way up to your shoulders supporting the bar. This will involve where you place your hands and what you do with them.

We have already reviewed the importance of maintaining a proper T-Spine position and not flaring the chest upwards, as well as actively cuing deep spinal stabilization to achieve this positioning. Now that you are able to achieve maximum core stability using these cue and proper abdominal pressurization for bracing, you are primed for the next step.

The next step in the process is to learn the impact shoulder mobility and hand position can have on working against proper positioning. This video teaches you how to find those limitations and apply them to how you hold the bar. It also details how you can then integrate your lats into the lift as a stabilizer for the upper body. You can create a solid base by...

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Why “Chest Up” In The Squat Is Wrong

chris duffin Aug 07, 2014

The importance of integrating the thoracic spine into your core stabilization is often overlooked or coached incorrectly. I am going to cover multiple aspects of T-Spine position in the squat, with multiple videos. If you have T-Spine extension while squatting, you have the opportunity to put 10-15 percent on top of your current max squat by correcting it. It is more than just not extending at the T-Spine, however. You must learn to cue the muscles responsible for pulling the T-Spine into position which will integrate this deep spinal stabilization with proper breathing and pressurization strategies. I cover these strategies here, if you are not familiar with them.

Next, I will cover thoracic spine extension in the squat, your hand position on the bar, its impact to T-Spine position, and how to integrate the bar on your shoulders into your core.

  • The misunderstood squat cue (0:54)
  • Remember what matters: the core (1:42)
  • Bad ribcage position (3:03)
  • The better squat...
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Application Of Concentric Only Training

chris duffin Mar 11, 2012

Why Use Concentric Only?

In the world of strength and size the eccentric phase (when the muscle is being stretched during the performance of the lift or “negative”) of the lift and overall ‘time under tension’ are king in regard to stimulating muscle Hypertrophy.  From this perspective it would appear that concentric (when the muscle is contracting during the performance of the lift such as when pressing a barbell) ONLY training would have no value to the strength athlete.  Although it may appear this way by looking at these simple facts, however training for strength and athletic development is much more complex beast than this one size fits all approach.  It is indeed possible to incorporate concentric only training in an effective manner to yield improved strength and or athletic ability.
The advantages of concentric only training comes from the very traits that make it appear as an inferior method.  It all comes down to...

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