It’s been a busy few weeks. First, I began teaching a new edition of Post Rehab Essentials this month, which was an updated version of the video series I released last December, and taught two 3-day workshops in Calgary and Edmonton respectively in the last three weeks. The most recent was in my own backyard last weekend.
Then I’ve had to work on a seminar for the upcoming Spinal Health and Core Training seminar weekend, featuring myself, Rick Kaselj, Tony Gentilcore, and Jeff Cubos, again being hosted at my home club. To say this will be a cool event is like saying Star Wars was a pretty good movie. IT’S GOING TO BE FREAKIN OFF THE HOOK, YO!!!
Top it off with the fact that I’ve still been training clients on a full time basis, I’ve had to schedule bathroom breaks, and hopefully nothing goes wrong during the day to push that out (sorry, I had to giggle a little as I wrote that one), and move it to tomorrow instead.
Now that these big irons are out of the fire, I’ll have some more time to devote to writing and making sure everyone out there gets some kickass fitness advice from my point of view, and hopefully a few laughs either at my expense or the expense of other people as I see fit.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Best Exercises” post, so I thought I would throw up one that has kind of grown on me in the past few months. To be honest, it’s one I struggle with quite a bit, having rolled my right ankle multiple times playing basketball in high school and now having all the mobility of a clam.
Anyways, it all started when I saw a picture of an old Russian weightlifting coach in a book somewhere in my library which now looks like an earthquake zone because I’ve torn through every book I have trying to find the picture to show everyone, but to no avail. Fail.
Anyways, it showed the coach in an overhead squat where both feet were together and both hands were together, elbows straight, and dropping it like it’s hot into one of the most fluid and deep overhead squats I’ve ever seen, complete with a vertical spine, and yes knees going past the toes in full myth-busting glory. It was one of the most impressive displays of body control and stability I have ever seen, and not a bosu anywhere in sight.
To say it was a thing of beauty compared to the typical train wrecks of overhead squat you see in your average gym or “box” would be an understatement.
Hence today’s best exercise in ever, the narrow stance squat.
The Narrow Stance Overhead Squat
The funny thing about something like this is that it’s incredibly simple to do, but it takes so much to do properly. You have to have a lot of ankle mobility bilaterally (pretty much the opposite of me), a lot of hip mobility, a ton of core stability, and an ability to breathe properly throughout the movement so you don’t lock up and fall on your butt. It’s a great precursor to any type of 1-leg squat training as well.
THis is a regression from performing an overhead squat, and seeing as how most people look more like a question mark than an exclamation point with their thoracic spine mobility, it would be more of an end stage progression to be able to incorporate an overhead variation. Most people will be stiff and fibrotic through this one, let alone try to step up to the overhead squat. That’s like Timmy Teeball facing heat from a pro pitcher, he’s just not ready for that brand of crazy intensity.
Now I could give you all the pointers and cues in the world for this one, but it all comes down to the individual having the movement pattern ingrained into their memory or not. We all used to do deep squats when we were kinds, and some of us kept it and some of us didn’t If you have the pattern, you’ll have no issue, and if you don’t, I could cue you until I’m blue in the face and you’re ready to throw medicine balls at me in frustration and we wouldn’t get anywhere. Just dip it low, pick it up slow, and if it looks right, I might say “Oh!”
The key to doing one of these types of squat properly has to come down to attitude more than mechanics. You have to ensure you have the mindset of completely owning this squat and accepting nothing but success. That’s right, you have to own this squat like this is an episode of Oz and you’ve got the top bunk.
It’s one of the most challenging, yet best type of active warmup for any type of compound lower body lifting session you could throw at a build without risking having the cops called for tossing around more plates than a dishwasher at Dennys.
Yes, that sentence just happened. Just accept it.