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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 08-11-2003, 03:48 PM   #1
Lincoln Brigham
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Managed a minor personal best in the overhead squat on Saturday. Finished up my snatch and clean workout with a set of 5 overhead squats with 57.5kg (126 pounds). This was easy, probably could have done 60kb. Previous p.r. was 5x55kg.

Overhead squats are a great exercise.
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Old 08-11-2003, 04:39 PM   #2
Kelly Moore
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Lincoln,

That was an outstanding WOD yesterday. Without a doubt, the OHS is great for humbling folks. What exercises/stretches have worked for you to increase your flexibility in the hips and shoulders?
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:10 PM   #3
Barry Cooper
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Great job! I focussed on Overhead Squats for about 3-4 months last year, and I found it to be the most difficult MENTAL exercise I've ever done. Back Squats and Deadlifts, for me, are very emotional--they're like fights, but OHS have this weird need to be loose and hard at the same time, and seem to require a lot of confidence to hold the whole thing together. I always knew that the second my concentration broke, I was done, and I would be asking myself, "Can I handle one more?" If I couldn't say yes without doubt, I always seemed to miss the rep. OHS are the only exercise like that for me. You can just grit your teeth for Cleans and even Power Snatches (I don't do Squat Snatches, so I'm lacking that perspective), but you need your whole game for OHS.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:22 PM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
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I don't do much stretching for the shoulders. For the OHS I believe it's just a matter of picking the right grip width. (My picture to the left is the narrowest I'll go. Lately I go collar-to-collar for the OHS. I'm 6'1" tall. YMMV.) I've got a chronic 'twinge' in my left shoulder that gets irritated if I try to increase my shoulder flexibility, anyway. Since my shoulders are flexible enough for what I need, I don't worry about it. The shoulders are, by design, the least stable joint in the body and the most flexible. The whole thing sits on a piece of cartilage the size of a quarter. My belief is that one should only stretch their shoulders if there is a specific need. Otherwise, I say don't do extra work to make an unstable joint more unstable. I have no deep need to learn how to do a narrow-grip OHS. Just my opinion.

For hip flexibility, I do... overhead squats!

My method: Wait until the end of a heavy leg workout, when the leg muscles are too tired to object to a little stretching. 20-rep squats beat the hell out of PNF or Active-Isolated stretching any day for eliminating stretching inhibition. Go into an overhead squat with a relatively light weight and descend until you feel a stretch, i.e. reaching the end of your flexibility. Rise up from that position ONE INCH. Take a deep breath and tighten up every muscle, hard. Now relax, release your air, and descend TWO INCHES. Pause for two seconds, no more. Rise up ONE INCH. Deep breath, tighten, hold. Relax, breath out, go down TWO MORE INCHES. Only two inches. Pause only two seconds*. Repeat one more time. Stand. Repeat this cycle two more times.

If you can gain a couple of honest inches per stretching workout this way, you'll have all the flexibility you'll need in very short order. THIS WORKS.

*Even though your legs should already be exhausted, you still want get out of the stretch before the stretch reflex inhibition kicks in, which usually takes 2-4 seconds.
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Old 08-13-2003, 08:05 AM   #5
Nicholas Nibler
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Kelly,
We use surgical tubing to help prepare the shoulders for OHS. It is used in much the same manner as a broomstick and it has the added advantage of making you keep your lats tense. This helps keep the shoulder stablized and assists in getting a good stretch.
Hold the tubing in front of you.
Fill your chest with air (same as OHS).
Pull it apart. Use enough resistance to create some good tension, but stay with something you can easily control.
Maintain that tension as you arc the tubing overhead and behind your back. Sometimes I will work a particular point in the arc if it feels tight.
Work it back and forth. We get the most benefit from treating each rep like a lift instead of a stretch, with good breath control and tension.

Nick
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:53 PM   #6
Kelly Moore
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Nick and Lincoln,

Thank you for the ideas. I used both today and I was able to squat deeper (although my legs were not fatigued; I simply tensed hard until they gave up) and balance the 45# bar better throughout the OHS. I also noticed that tensing against the tubing before moving up the different weight bars removed the nagging little pain in my left shoulder. Thanks again!
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Old 08-17-2003, 02:16 PM   #7
Lincoln Brigham
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Update: Got another p.r. in the 5-rep OHS. Did 59kg (130#) for 5 reps on Saturday. This was after doing snatches (3 x 1 x 64kg) and cleans (4 x 1 x 74kg*).

*I was using a 30 lb. bar with an assortment of kilo plates, hence the unusual weights.
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Old 08-23-2003, 06:33 PM   #8
Lincoln Brigham
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Another update: Got 5 x 60kg today in the OHS, after doing 4 x 1 x 65kg in snatches and 3 x 1 x 75kg in cleans. I'm on a roll!
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Old 08-23-2003, 10:51 PM   #9
Kelly Moore
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Great work Lincoln! I have a much greater appreciation for your lifts since I have been introduced to them. The O-lifts are tough!

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Old 08-25-2003, 05:55 AM   #10
Nicholas Nibler
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Lincoln,
Congrats, you are on a roll!
Nick
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