Wide Stance Groin Health

chris duffin Feb 03, 2015

In December of 2012 I tore my right adductor in a meet.  I had actually had some minor tearing early in the year and had been managing it to keep training but with a 782 competition squat it let go on me.  https://youtu.be/YoEJMEFJAYI

After rehabbing the area I determined a need to reduce my injury risk.  With squatting wide and pulling sumo it simply puts a lot of strain on this area that is sometimes slow to recover.  It is also a fairly common injury point with lifters.

One of the ways I have reduced this risk is with ensuring proper recruitment patterns are firing before this heavy eccentric load.  This is done with a specific warmup routine and test-retest methodology before jumping under squats.  I reviewed this warmup routine on Breaking Muscle.

That write up only covered that specific warmup and also skipped the hip-airplane that I often employ as part of it.

In this video piece I go into depth on the hip-airplane that is used before I...

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Whiskey & Deadlifts

(aka – Powerlifting: Experimentation and Logic behind Intra-Workout Alcohol Consumption)

by Chris Duffin

Are you looking for an excuse to get drunk or abuse alcohol? If yes then go away! This is most definitely not an article for you.  Without a doubt the negative long term and short term effects of alcohol are very well documented. Particularly as an athlete, excess and even moderate alcohol use can have a detrimental effect on your powerlifting and strongman performance. From negative hormonal factors such as lowering testosterone, lowering HGH, lowering ADP generation, and increasing cortisol to dietary impacts of reducing protein syntheses, containing 7cal/g of energy, and interfering with absorption of other nutrients – all of these factors make it clear that alcohol is something to avoid as a strength athlete (or consume in very minimal quantities).  The short term depressant effect, slowing both cognitive ability as well as coordination, and reducing...

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A Guide To Cutting Weight For Strength Sports

Cutting Weight – Powerlifting, Strongman, Olympic Lifting

Both powerlifting and strongman often offer 18-24hr weigh-ins prior to the start of the meet. This creates an opportunity for you to plan and manage your weight class with different objectives that cannot be realized when faced with a 2 hour weigh-in.

You may wonder why an athlete would wait to the last minute to cut weight instead of having the discipline to slowly diet down to the desired weight class over weeks or in some case months. The answer is simple: Performance. Properly managing your weight ABOVE your weight class can actually improve your performance on meet day. In this short piece I’ll detail the approach I take with the lifters that I coach.

In the slowly-dieting-down-to-a weight-class approach there are some negatives that come into play. Let’s take an athlete that’s 10-12lbs over their weight class. At two months out from competition this lifter will begin diet restrictions and slowly...

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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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