Dylan Spina – @DylanSpina61
In a follow up to one of my previous articles, keep your head down, we talked about keeping the head down while you bench. We discussed the downfall of how raising your head off the bench will be detrimental for a successful bench. When I originally wrote that article I was under the guise that lifters and athletes do this on purpose, which is still true in 90-95% of the cases you see it happen. The other 5-10% of cases are a simple fix that will take mere minutes to fix.
Watching elite and beginner lifters alike, I realized some lifter do that because their upper back and shoulder mobility is trash. Its not an area of focus for a lot of lifters, especially powerlifters, because usually we correct the problem when we Low Bar squat. The exercises kind of correct themselves. The problem exposed itself recently to team IVB because we haven’t hit a low bar squat in weeks. This is where watching and learning how the body moves and reacts is critical to becoming a better training partner and lifter.
Here are a few movements to do when you realize that you or your training partner has terrible upper back/ shoulder mobility:
- Lay flat on your stomach with your arms out to make a “T”
- Bring Left arm in to prop the chest up while bring left leg over right
- Hold for 30-60 seconds
- Repeat for right side
- Start on your knees and elbows
- Sit back on the heels of your feet
- Extend elbows out while bringing hands to mid-back
- Hold for 30-90seconds
Classic Arm swings:
- Start standing up with arms straight out in front palms facing in
- Swing arms back horizontally, parallel with your shoulders
- Bring arms forward pass opposite arm under
- Repeat trying to swing arms farther back each time
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