Of Knees & Squats

1. pause squats, no sleeves, high bar, roughly 2 second pause

Michael wanted to change up my form a little bit. My knees tend to go forward quite a bit when I squat, and my coach alluded to the fact that I am not so young and might need to make things easier on my knees. So, I had to break at the hips first and save the forward knee movement for the end of the motion.

45 x 8, 95 x 5, 115 x 1 not paused because I forgot + 5 paused, 135 x 5

Then I did another set of 5 at 135 with a low bar position.

Depth was definitely not an issue with this little change! I am not sure I can describe how it felt, but making the effort to reduce my forward knee movement seemed to make squatting deep very easy. Since I was supposed to try to limit my forward knee movement until the end of the eccentric, I could feel my body easing gently into a deep squat as my knees pushed slightly forward at the bottom. The movement felt rather comfortable at the bottom, although I felt slower coming out of the hole. That might have been from the pause or the stiffness from squatting Monday or just adapting to the change. I think the low bar position felt even better with this change.

2a. chin ups, neutral grip, small green + orange bands, lean back more to get chest to the bar

x 7, x 6, x 6, x 5, x 5

2b. single arm dumbbell presses

20 lbs x 10 each, 25 lbs x 8 each, 25 x 7 each

29 lbs x 3 strict + 3 push presses each

29 x 1 strict, 2 push, little rest, 2 push on the left side and 3 strict + 2 push on the right

It’s the same story every single time…my left arm simply does not want to cooperate. Michael mentioned that the left elbow may be flaring out a bit. I don’t notice that in the moment, but I think that might be happening. Not sure if that happens because the left side is struggling or if the left side struggles because of the flare! How’s that for a ‘which came first’ scenario? Actually, we’re not really sure why that left side is continuously weaker with these overhead presses. There isn’t usually much discrepancy between right and left when I am doing incline or flat presses.

3a. single arm kettle bell rows

55 lbs x 8 each x 3 sets

These felt a little heavy today, and they definitely worked my grip. Maybe because they felt heavy I wasn’t sure that I was maintaining good form, but Michael said I did. I’ll take his word for it, since I can’t see what I look like in the moment.

3b. flyes

10 lb dumbbells x 15 ish, x 15

15 lbs x 15

Michael had to reinforce proper elbow positioning during the first set. The final set was alright, but it felt like there was more stretch or strain in the right shoulder. Michael observed that I was lowering the right arm deeper than the left. Either the right is more flexible or the left is tighter. I’m not sure what is the answer. Most of the time I feel like my right shoulder is tighter, but what do I really know about it. Not much at all!

Competition is just over 9 weeks away!

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