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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#1 Exercise Your Clients Should Be Doing

Is it a Push-Up?  NO
Is it a Burpie?  NO
Is it that they should be pulling a pick-up truck?  HELL NO

The #1 exercise that your clients should be doing is the Ultimate Sandbag Bear Hug Squat.
 For the longest time, I had a big issue figuring out why some clients could squat very well and others had no clue how to perform the movement.  I tried every method in the book, than I got invited by Josh Henkin to his DVRT (Dynamic Variable Resistance Training) Level I Certification and he introduced me to the Bear Hug Squat.

The reason why the Ultimate Sandbag Bear Hug Squat can help everyone achieve that perfect squat is because the USB acts as a counterbalance to help align the client into perfect squatting depth.  It will also teach them the value and importance of thoracic spine position and activation.

Here are some common questions regarding the USB Bear Hug Squat:

Q:  How do I set up the USB?
1.     Place the USB flat on the ground with the naked side of the bag up
2.     Straddle the center of the bag with your knees slightly bent
3.     Grab underneath the bag and make sure that when you pick up the bag that your shoulder blades are pinched together, back is flat, and that half the bag is below your arms when you pick it up (if the person is not able to hip hinge that low…place the bag on a step so that the client is able to reach underneath)
4.     Drive up in an explosive manner and now the bag should be lined up with the middle of your body

Q:  What are some things that I should be looking for before my client starts     performing the USB Bear Hug Squat?
1.     Locked out Thoracic Spine…Remember if the Thoracic Spine is not look, this means that we will be looking at a rounded back
2.     Traps that are relaxed…No tension
3.     Feet should be in a 45 degree angle or less to allow the knees to push slightly outward.  By making sure this happens, the client will activate more of the hips, become more stable, and most of the time to allow them to go deeper with the squat

Q:     What are the recommend sets and reps?
A:     Every client is different, but I usually tend to start with 3 sets of 5 reps. This does not mean to challenge them with an  extreme amount of load, but I would rather you watch their movement and correct their form. Load is often a variable that is overused…I would rather you work with ROM, Stability, Foot Position, Tiempo, etc.