23 December 2009

Going the distance...

So we defined the first two types of strength movements as picking something heavy up off the ground and picking something heavy up off the ground and putting it over head. Today well look at the last and equally as versatile movement. Category 3: Your ability to pick something heavy up and carry it. Out of three categories this is the most diverse in its movements. The ability to carry a heavy load for an indeterminable amount of time is an invaluable ability. Again, looking to our armed forces and rescue workers - lugging heavy machine gun parts in full kit, grabbing a fire hose in one hand and carrying a de-smoking fan in the other hand, or shouldering a wounded individual we can see the importance this ability plays in daily life. Maybe you're a mom, with an armload of groceries and a toddler squirming around in the other, hoofing it up four flights of stairs to your apartment. Some of you have the job of hauling 50-80 pound bags of shingles up a two story ladder while roofing. This strength movement is important!

Unlike the other two categories I have not associated a foundational set of movements to Category 3. However, the squat and its variations are paramount to increasing this ability. Proper squatting technique will increase your hip mobility, which allows for greater ease in ascending a steep incline, a set of stairs or a ladder all of which could occur while carrying a load. In our training
we will be utilizing the squat in as many different ways as possible to maximize our mobility. Different variations you will see:

Back Squat - the load is displaced across the individuals trapezius muscles. The back squat allows for maximum load bearing capability in relation to the other variations.
Front Squat - the load is held in the rack position across the collar bone and front shoulder region. This squat is an excellent way to increase your power clean strength.
Overhead Squat - the load is held locked out overhead. Phenomenal core builder, and hip and shoulder mobility tool.
Zercher Lift - the load when training with a barbell or log is held across the crooks of the elbows, when training with a sandbag or other cumbersome object the load is squeezed or bear-hugged to the chest.
Air Squat - no load required. The air squat will be used to knock out high repetitions and to work on strength endurance and speed.

Look forward to training these five variations. There is no workout scheduled for tomorrow, it is an active recovery day. Go for a run or swim. If you have snow hit the trails cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Get outside, breathe fresh air.

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