A nice combination of technique and a high heartrate today. We started off with a technique / strength section for the squat clean:
1 Pause Squat Clean + 1 Pause Front Squat
The squat clean gave us really the time to focus on the technique: controlled pull from the floor, agressive hip-extension and fast under the bar. We added the pause in the squat clean today to teach you proper positioning work: We would like you to catch your squat clean low, since it’s a squat clean and not a power clean. Therefor, after the hip-extension you don’t pull the bar up to your chest but you pull yourself straight under the bar.
When under the bar, sitting down is really teaching where to catch it and what tension you should have when catching it.
A common mistake is just throwing the bar up, ‘fall” under the bar and then seeing however you’re going to get it up. We don’t want that, since this is going to make it really hard standing it up when the weights are getting heavy. We would like an active pull of the bar, then pulling yourself under the bar with the same active attitude and catch it in the most active squat you can find for yourself. Therefor: Paused Squat Cleans.
After we’ve done the squat clean, we did Paused Front Squat. Again, this teaches you position, but this also is a great exercise for building strength. Usually, when we do squats, we sortoff ‘bounce’ out of the bottom, thereby using something that’s called a Stretch-reflex:
By sitting down in the squat, we lengthen the hamstings (muscles on the back of your legs). When we lengthen them, the hamstrings ”fight back” against this stretch, with something called a stretch reflex: they react by contracting aggressively. Since the hamstrings are the main muscles that extend your legs and hips out of a squat, this stretch reflex causes you to stand up out of your squat easier. This is seen as the ”bounce” in the catch of the squat.
This bounce obviously makes the squat easier, but doesn’t necessarily makes you stronger. We build in the pause in the Front Squats today, to take out this Stretch Reflex. Hereby, you can only get out of your squat by using raw strength only, instead of body-mechanics! Less bounces = more strength needed = stronger legs = heavier squats next time. Therefor: Paused Front Squats
As you see here, we pretty much have an idea behind all the workouts we do. Sometimes we explain the idea, sometimes there’s no time to do so. The overall idea is to get you guys fitter, and what we needed today to get you guys ultimate fitness was a nice conditioning-finisher. We ended with a 5 rounds workout of 10 Front Squats and 40 Double unders. Putting our newly learned positions of the Front Squat into practice right away: what better way of ”saving” this knowledge. We liked it a lot to see you guys get better today and by the look on your faces, I know you guys liked it too.
Tomorrow is going to be a nice one, so bring your A-game and let’s finish this week with fire! – Mart