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Tag: lats

Safely Reaching the Arms Overhead

Are you one of those people who likes to do overhead barbell pressing… but has no business pressing a barbell overhead?

How do you get your arms overhead? How do your clients get their arms overhead? Do you have the range of motion to do it safely? Or are you just overloading your back and irritating your shoulders?

I don’t want to sit here and pretend to tell you that I have the magic answer. It doesn’t work like that.

What I CAN offer you, however, is some insight on some of the things that have seemed to work for me… even the things that are a little counterintuitive.

Today we’ll discuss some things that have helped my clients safely perform overhead work.

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How to Coach Yourself in the Gym

The deadlift is a big movement that utilizes every muscle and joint in your body. You better be good at doing it.

But how do you know you’re doing it correctly if you can’t see yourself doing the lift?

Today I want to show you a trick that can help you out. Check out this video below.

The first rep is without a cue to turn on the lats. The second rep is with it.

Watch the video again. Notice the bar’s path of travel.

During the first rep, the bar never really gets to my midfoot, which is about where I would ideally want it. When the bar is in this position, it has better leverage than I do.

During the second rep, watch the bar go back. There I can finally sit into it.

What’s funny, however, is that you may have watched the first one and thought, “Well… that wasn’t too bad.” Then when you see the second rep you think, “Jesus, that first one was terrible.”

Coaching yourself isn’t entirely a guessing game. You don’t have to fabricate a cue out of the blue that you think will work for you. If you’re an inexperienced lifter who lifts alone, film a few sets. Compare set one and set two.

  1. What did you feel working?
  2. How did the reps feel?
  3. Which one looks better: one or two? Make your workouts like a visit to the doctor’s office.

When you aren’t sure what you’re looking at, you need more experience. Try something new and re-evaluate. The secret to the training process is understanding the scientific method. It is simply trial and error. What did I do wrong? How do I fix it?

Now go get strong!

-Lance

Recruiting the Lats

After seeing a video on the RTS forum of some deadlifts, I noticed that the puller’s biggest problem was that he wasn’t using his lats to his advantage.

I thought simply telling him this would be enough, but alas, I was wrong. He said he really doesn’t know how to turn them on when he deadlifts. After doing some thinking, it really doesn’t surprise me. There are so few people who talk about coaching in general that it’s no wonder the topic of lat recruitment never came up.

I’m going to show you what it looks like to have your lats on and off, outline the benefits of using your lats in your pulls, as well as how to get yourself and your clients in the right position.

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