Sceptically Fit

29/08/2011

Gym Victory!

Filed under: Exercise, Personal — Tags: , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:01

I have been struggling with problems with my squat for a while.

My original source of information on how to squat came from the wonderful Stumptuous, an excellent resource for weightlifting targeted at (but not limited to) women. But somehow over this last year it stopped working properly. Well, not somehow – I drastically changed my workout patterns. I stopped squatting and deadlifting much and did a lot of long distance running as I was training for the half-marathon. Clearly, I created a different balance of muscles. I was having trouble not rounding my back and not leaning forward.

Having a lot of flexibility but incredibly weak glutes, I’ve found that a lot of the information out there is tailored to men, and with that is a direction that a lot of the issues are going to be mobility ones but that’s not the case – I can drop into a squat easily. The reason I fall over isn’t because I don’t bend that way, its because I can’t hold myself there.

A lot of searching on different forums I’ve read a wide collection of advice, aside from Stumptuous, I recommend All about the squat for a guide. But still, I could reach the position, it just wasn’t right. Then I caught sight in the mirror and discovered – I have buttwink! But how could that be? Everything I’ve read has said that’s a flexibility issue, and I’m nothing (else) but flexible. More internet searching and I found this video – engage the hip flexors! And the butt wink was cured.

Unfortunately that wasn’t it. I was having trouble coming back up without leaning forward too much. I could feel my weight rolling onto the balls of my feet  as  I stood up. Reading through the guides: yes I’m looking to the middle foreground; yes, shoulders back; yes, my knees are in line with my toes; yes, I’m driving from the hips; yes, my core is engaged. What was wrong?

Shoulders! Yes my shoulders were back but once again too easily flexible becomes a hindrance. My shoulders were back but my shoulder blades weren’t pulled back – the muscles weren’t engaged. I went to the gym, focussed on the shoulders and what a difference. It was easy! Well not truly easy, but everything worked. As I stood up, I stood up – I didn’t have to try and balance my top half over my lower half, all one seamless entity. Who’d have thought it – doing an exercise properly is the best way to do the exercise.

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