Friday, July 28, 2006

Building Foundations: Part Three

Today was another good workout! I experimented with increasing the weight for the hexbar DL and discovered we need to keep the weight a bit lower that I initially figured for today. Just a 10 lb decrease in weight (along with a 2" or so boost in height for the bar, due to her long legs) enabled AJ to keep perfect form for sets of 10 reps. I am incredibly picky about lumbar spine mechanics and control with young athletes. It only takes a few degrees of lumbar spine flexion to become a disaster, so we made two adjustments and her form became perfect.

I cued her constantly during every rep to not relax at the bottom and keep her chest tall and butt down--along with keep the arms straight. Many like to bend the arms with this exercise and it takes a bit to get some to use the arms as a passive "holder" of the weight. This exercise is about PUSHING the weight up with the legs, not picking the weight up with the upper extremities.

I am a big fan of 45 degree hip extension work. The average person and athlete need to establish lumbar spine/pelvic control and dissociation with squat and "waiter's bow" movements. The 45 degree apparatus assists in learning the "waiter's bow" movement and prepares one for more advanced movements, such as the Good Morning or SLDL (and many of the exercises in the Bosch & Klomp "Running" text).

It is less aggressive than the traditional "hyper" bench; and this bench is very adjustable for short/tall people. The key is to set the pads low so the pelvis is free to move. The torso is locked on the pelvis and this exercise involves movement at the hip only! I often cue people to "release the hamstrings" and "lead with the hips" in order to tease out lumbar flexion/extension at the end ranges of the movement.

AJ is really working on her upper body strength. She demonstrated improvement with her incline DB presses today. We still need to work on elbow position with this exercise, but overall, I am confident%

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