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Whether you’re a high bar squatter or low bar squatter, optimal positioning of the bar on your back and how you support the bar on your back with your hands and arms is factored in when considering the ability to create trunk stiffness, as well as considering the management of wrist, elbow, and shoulder aches and pains in the back squat. 

Oftentimes we hear clients and fellow athletes reporting that their warm up routine consists of 30 minutes or more of “stretching” or “rolling” or “smashing” their muscles, only to find themselves back to being “tight” the next training day or feeling little to no benefit in their performance. It’s not uncommon for people to go straight to general mobility drills when the time comes to “warm up” for training. It’s very common for people to give little thought to stability or activation drills prior to their main movement or sport.

It is a piece to help you develop strong, healthy, and powerful shoulders that can deliver tremendous power while reducing risk of injury in such a complex joint. This top 5 is for developing functional strength movements for the shoulders. Yes, I said the dreaded word ‘functional’. But I’m not talking namby-pamby soda can exercises, I’m talking real movements that develop strength while helping improve the operating mechanics of the shoulders. If you’re not familiar with my background or approach I am certainly a coach and athlete interested in real-world results and believe that stronger is better, so you won’t find remedial PT exercises promoted by me. While I am best known as coach and movement specialist these days, I’ve been (or am, depending on your outlook) one of the best pure strength athletes in the world. This top 5 list contains exercises that I employ in the fields I consult in and will help you achieve what they do:

In this video, Chris Duffin and Brad Cox from Acumobility are at Titan Barbell in Medford, MA working with Strongman Semaj.  Semaj had sustained a right shoulder injury that has been negatively impacting his overhead mobility. During assessments, we found that he has poor internal rotation of the shoulder with limited overhead range of motion and restricted trap and pec muscles. Our goal is to provide some corrective strategies to improve end range of motion and stability in the shoulder girdle. We accomplish this through the following progression:

I’m sure people have noticed my shoeless attire in all my lifting video’s this last year.  There is a reason for this and it ties directly to how we both coach and asses the lifts.  No I’m not going to sell you on going shoeless yourself.  Well, at least not all the time, as you may try it for some information gathering or assessment after this.

As the founder of a popular movement website I feel it’s my duty to tell you that I want you to limit the amount of exercise prep that you perform. Yes, I said limit your exercise prep, not do more. In recent years I’ve seen a trend for mobility, movement priming, and other means of exercise preparation. While this trend is very positive over the just ‘grind through the pain’ mentality of the past, there is such a thing as ‘too much’. Just like anything else, people seem to jump right to the “if a little bit is great, then more must be better” approach.

In this piece Kelly Starrett and Chris Duffin are clearly fired up and addressing topics in a rapid-fire fashion. Starrett and Duffin quickly hit on and address numerous topics on movement mechanicsMuch of the focus of the discussion surrounds the future of role of the responsibility of the strength coach. Duffin and Starrett challenge the status quo of the current role and when clinical intervention is brought in. Both articulate that these roles need to change, but this also involves people on both ends of this spectrum needing to “up their game”. Clearly defining what those roles are and then educating to those expectations will reduce injury rates and improve performance of athletes.