There are some near universal truths when I get a new client:
1: They lack Thoracic Mobility/ scapula control
2: They lack glute activation/ strength
3: They create motion from the lumbar spine, and consequently have overactive spinal errectors (low back muscles)
I would guesstimate that I see all three of these in a new client 90% of the time (cause, they are somewhat interrelated) and at least 2 of the three get hit about 95% of the time.
And it all goes back to our flexed forward, low amplitude/ low velocity world.
If you’re always sitting, hunched over a screen, in a box, or in front of a box, you’re probably not:
- Sitting up straight, shoulders in the joint: Thoracic Extension
- Squatting down or lifting the leg so the knee is above the hip and then extending from a stable hip position: Hip Extension
- Running at a fast velocity: Hip Extension
- Jumping as high or far as possible: Hip Extension
All of this leads to Desk Jockey Syndrome, and bad news bears. <—-ie you ain’t no Kelly Leak, you might be Lupus, at best
So we gotta fix that, Tin Man.
One Stop Awesomeness:
It’s called that, cause you’re kinda “flying”, like Superman, but it’s more like Christopher Reeves Superman and less like ALL THE OTHER LAME-ASS SUPERMANS that came after. <–except for Dean Cain, I don’t care what level of football you’re playing, 12 interceptions in a season is freaking boss.
A Quick Word on What Not To Do:
DON’T EXTEND THE LOWER BACK….
You need to focus on extending/ lifting the chest and DRIVING the hips into the ground. Yes, the low back will move slightly but it’s not the driver of motion. It’s a byproduct.
This is about thoracic (ribcage) extension and glute activation, not using the low back (spinal errectors, remember the muscles you already use too much?) to do more work.
- Start by tacking a big belly breath, pressing out into the floor, then breathing ALL of your air out. Literally pushing everything out to allow the ribcage to “drop” and align with the abs, setting the “core”.
- Glutes on and DRIVE the hips into the ground. When the legs extend/ feet come up off the ground without purposefully lifting the legs, you got it.
- Keep the ribcage down on the abs, but lift the chest (T-shirt logo) as high as possible.
- Be smooth and focus on sliding the scapula (shoulder blades) up and down the ribcage and even together.
- DON’T overextend the arms (Approximate the Humerus) at the end range. In the joint, is good enough.
As you start to get more better at these you can start to Blackburn these or/ and add some VERY LIGHT weights, like 2.5lbs plates and your upper back and shoulders will be fried.
*Don’t get all Barney Badass and try to do like 10lbs, you’ll do it wrong, get all sloppy, limit the mobility and basically destroy the drill. Check that ego at the door Broseph. You’ll get a hell of a lot more out of these doing them for a minute straight with no weight and constantly moving.
How Much and How Often?
Everyday and always…..or whenever you can.
– I said that
Anything that increases glute activation, thoracic spine mobility and scapula control is boss, it’s only going to make you better and isn’t going to add any residual fatigue. So do them for however long you can keep them smooth and as often as you want.
I like sets starting at 10 seconds and progressing up to a minute.