Well, there’s been a lot of stuff going down in Wg-Fit these last few weeks, which meant my attention has been elsewhere and as a result I’ve not been blogging.
So today I’ve a conglomeration of mini blogs and tidbits that you may, or may not find interesting.
First off is an “Ask Dave” that came from a question over on facebook.
The question was whether the front or back squat was a better choice or if they were much of a muchness.
After I gave my answer, I went to google just to see what others were saying on the topic and WOW!
There’s a lot of chit chat and opinion on this topic, much of it is the usual emotional “Well my coach is better than your coach” type of nonsense where people argue to defend their opinion rather than look at the reality of the question.
So is the Back Squat or the Front Squat superior?
The answer is……………<drum rolllllllllll>………..
Yes, that old chestnut again. The answer that is simultaneously not an answer.
Which is the better option? Well that’s totally dependant upon your body, your wants and of course, your needs.
Lets take a case study or two….
Mike is tough dude with high mileage. He needs basic strength work but has several postural issues that need addressed, one of which is a pronounced kyphosis of the spine. After working with Mike I was sure the kyphosis is probably something we can’t totally correct, but we can improve over time.
If I were to put a load on the front of Mike, we would be protracting his scapular and playing into his existing postural issues, therefore we ruled out the front squat straight away.
The back squat was problem because he couldn’t fully retract and depress the scaps meaning that getting into position put his shoulders into a compromised position and left him unstable.
So we strengthened his upper back, opened the chest, did a shit load of face the wall squats, overhead squats with a band and scapular strength work.
All the while we integrated this into the back squat with relatively light load, allowing him learn to pull the scaps into place and get the chest high all the while bending the bar around himself.
Over time it worked and he now squats a respectable weight.
Maria is an even tougher dudette. She also needs lower body strength and power in spades, but she has an issue in which her scapular are constantly in an anterior tilt.
When we put a bar on her back she cannot get the scaps to posteriorly tilt and end up with her elbows stuck out behind her and lats and upper traps take over both dominating and destroying all upper body stability.
However, if we take the time to stretch her lats and then stick into a front squat using the Clean grip, we see her scaps posteriorly tilt, the lats engage just enough and the upper traps are inhibited.
Result: She now squats well and is building up the weight nicely.
Two people, two different sets of issues, both use the best squat for their individual needs.
And as much as I prefer people to front squat, especially people new to squatting, I can’t let my preference override what the body in front of me is telling me to do.
Hence some front squat in my gym while other back squat.
This then creates the last question, if I can do both equally well but can lift more on the back squat, why would I bother with the front squat?
Well, that’s a biggie. From the waist down, the muscle activation on a 5RM front squat is identical that in a 5RM back squat but with less load.
This is a good thing, it means my two clients mentioned above are both getting equal training.
The difference then is in that the front squat allows most people to go deeper with a more vertical torso.
This means less shear stress in the spine and greater loading on the abdominals.
Not bad eh?
If you want to read more about the science then I highly recommend you have a look at the excellent post on the subject that the Precision Nutrition guys put together on the topic.
The PN crew are very science oriented and results focussed, so actual opinion doesn’t come into the equation when they analyse a topic.
CLICK HERE TO READ IT
Next I have some great ways to spend your wages.
First off is a ridiculous package of 72 ebooks & videos from a host of Coaches.
My Fighting Back eBook is in there, as is Ross Enamaits Jump Rope product and many many more.
But mine and Ross’s are all you need to know right….?
Anyhow, it’s only available this week, it’s stupidly cheap and you can get more details by clicking on the image:
Mind Over Metal Hoodies & T-Shirts
These are sold to help raise funds for the HOPS centre for Mental Health.
The last batch of these raised €300 which i recently handed over to the centre. This will be used to take the guys out for a Christmas Dinner celebration in a few weeks time, so a big shout out to all who bought a garment, you’ve done a great thing.
And you look damn sexy in your new gear!
For more info, please CLICK HERE
And while we’re on the subject of Ducks, turn the volume up and jam to this:
Now that I’ve just made your day, I’ll sign off.