Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Building Foundations: More Improvement!

Well, today's session was great--for many reasons.

1) AJ graduated to the blue band. There are many people in the St. Louis area who rue the day they met me (&Vern's) blue band! With sidestepping, her R hip IR/valgus movement is very much improved. I have seen grown men cower at the blue band.

2) AJ completed 5 x 5 in the front squat. This was her first time to front squat and she did fabulously! It was interesting to note that her form is actually better with the front squat; the R hip extensor/ER weakness is almost absent. She front squats easily what she back squats right now. And she can FEEL the difference! This is key. We have a new exercise and have really discovered just how quad dominant AJ is.

3. Pressing and push ups continue to improve. AJ proudly told me that someone COMPLIMENTED her on her form at the Y on Monday. Yes!

4. Squat jumps (Burn with Vern Jr. set of 20 bw squats/6 squat jumps) are looking much more fluid. She has almost perfect control of the R LE with landing and take-off. AJ still needs to learn to move faster, but the progress is great.

5. I forgot to mention my experiment last week with hex bar DLs. It was fascinated to watch AJ deadlift 20 lbs more (for a set of 8) than she squats. I was fascinated by the ease with which she did this initially; but it all made sense when she reminded me that she cared for her sister on a daily basis and has to do dependent transfers all the time! Talk about functional strength! We will use hex bar DLs quite often I think, as she is comfortable with them and I think it will help her gain confidence with other squat techniques--not to mention gain terrific all-around strength.

That's today's report. She's setting PRs in pushups almost every workout. We'll keep expanding her library of exercises so that when the season comes, she is armed with a good variety of basic movements. I hope to see her 1x/wk and have her working 2-3x/wk on her own, as her competition schedule allows. If only my DeSmet guys worked so diligently....

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