Workout of the Day

You Front Squat the Same Way You...

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We’ve all seen plants that have taken on an unusual shape, whether through intentional grooming or unintentional physical restrictions -- bushes shaped like Mickey Mouse, trees forming arches, branches growing in odd shapes around an unmoving fixture such as another tree or a large post. With time and some physical restraint, these plants take on atypical shapes. Palm trees, for example, will grow relatively straight and vertical in their “natural” and uninhibited state; but with the application of some external force, such as tying two palm trees together near their apex, the trees will over time bend and grow to form a curved shape. And even though this heavily curved shape is not “natural” for the palm tree, after it spends some time adapting to the restraints that coerce it out of its straight shape, it will naturally snap back to this curved shape even some external force attempts to straighten it. Even though the DNA of a palm tree has “straight and vertical” written all over it, enough time and some force can rewrite the standard shape of the tree.

It should be no surprise, then, that you have a hard time getting into a good front rack with a barbell when you spend 15.5 of your 16 waking hours with your shoulders slouched forward, back slumped, and head pitched forward in front of your spine. It’s no wonder that your front rack position looks a lot like your hunched-over-your-computer-or-phone position, too. Because while we are far more complex than trees in many ways, in some ways we really are not. If you spend enough time in a position, your body will adapt to occupy that position with the most ease, and, in the same way that it would take quite a bit of force to unbend a bent palm tree back to its “natural” straight shape, trying to move your body out of its most commonly occupied position will take considerable effort and force. Put simply, you front squat the same way you sit at your desk or stand in line at the store. If you’re interested in training your body to occupy and move in strong, safe, and effective positions (and you should be), I strongly suggest you address the positions you spend 95% of your life occupying.

- PS


7/26/17

  • 6 rounds, in 90s complete:

    • 100’ keg carry (AHAP)

    • 5 keg clean & press

    • AMRAP burpee to plate

  • Rest 2 min