85 days to Memorial Day
This is where we turn your functional training up to 11. Over head (OH) squats.Go back to the post dated 1/13/09 “Elder Respect part 2″ and review the definition of functional. I want us on the same page here.
Ok, so same rules apply here as with the other squats. Neutral spine, ass out behind you and chest up in front. The goal is to allow the hips to sink back and down until your thighs are just about parallel with the ground and then back up to standing.
Starting with that bar at your chest, get your fingers under it. Grip it with your whole hand, palms up, and a generously wide grip. Take a quick dip with the hips and let your legs help you throw that bar up over head. Lock out the elbows. The arms should be just behind the line of your ears. STOP STARING IN THAT MIRROR! Listen to and feel your body. Use the force Luke. Use the force. Trust me on this.
Hips back & down, ass out, chest as up as possible. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor the whole time.
Something else that goes against convention here, don’t stare at or spot the ceiling during your squat. Our goal is to maintain a neutral spine. Can’t do that when your neck, aka your cervical SPINE, is cranked all the way back to stare at the air conditioning. ducts. If you need a place to look, find where the wall meets the floor. Because of the rack placement in most gyms, this will line you up pretty well so that when you’re at the bottom of the squat, the most complex & intense portion, you’ll be pretty well in neutral.
Why overhead? Remember, the human body is one piece. We’re creating greater active flexibility by applying a pre-stretch to the lats before the squat. As you sink down, your spine will move more towards parallel with the ground. Your arms must stay perpendicular to the ground, thus creating more active flexibility and range of motion through the shoulder joint and major muscles of the back. Additionally, since that weight is now arm’s length above you, we’re looking at stabilizing that load through the torso (core) and shoulders in a way you’re not going to get with any other squat. You’re forcing substantial additional strength increases and using both your time and your workout efficiently and effectively.
Additional benefit for same time commitment and a new and engaging challenge that will translate directly into your day. Go for it. Give it a shot.