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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 08-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #1
Todd Luebke
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Front Squat and Elbows up

I can't seem to get my elbows up when doing the front squat. I must have some loss of flexibilty or something. I tried underhand/overhand gripping but I can't get to the point where the bar is on my shoulders and elbows are up.

I think this is also preventing me from doing kipping pullups and OHS properly.

Any ideas how to regain the range of motion in my shoulders?
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:16 PM   #2
Jay Cohen
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

Todd, do a search on flexibility, squats, shoulders, OHS. Tons of good info.
Elbows up might not be an issue with Kipping or OHS. Maybe someone will chime in with better advice, but bottom line, do more FS's, elbows will come. Do more OHS, shoulder and hip flexibility will come.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
Jon Gilson
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

Todd,

Do shoulder dislocates. Your problem is most likely a combination of shoulder and wrist flexibility, which this exercise will largely solve. Get a PVC pipe or broomstick, let it hang at arms' length, and take a snatch-width grip. This is a very wide grip that places the pipe in the crease of your hips. Keeping your arms straight and your elbows locked, cycle the bar over your head and all the way behind you. Repeat a thirty to forty times before every workout.

Make sure you keep your arms straight and your grip on the pipe. I have a feeling this will be difficult for you. If you cannot keep your arms straight and your grip on the pipe, move your hands outward on the pipe.

When you go to do front squats, try a slightly wider grip on the barbell than the one you've been using. The wider your spacing, the easier it will be to achieve a rack position.

Jay's advice--do front squats--is good. Keep trying and do your dislocates, and the rack position will come!

Best,

Jon
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:47 PM   #4
John Berg
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

I have never done front squats before and my wrists are killing me also. Could it also be an issue of too much weight? I can squat 275 the traditional way (bar on traps) and these were extremely difficult . I struggled with 185.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:55 PM   #5
Jay Cohen
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

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Originally Posted by John Berg View Post
I have never done front squats before and my wrists are killing me also. Could it also be an issue of too much weight? I can squat 275 the traditional way (bar on traps) and these were extremely difficult . I struggled with 185.
John, where did you come from, but your question is dead nuts on.
Good solid squats, *** to ankles can be humbling, front squats more so then back squats and Overhead Squats more humbling then you can possibley believe, trust me on this and along with all CF'rs. Just watch video of Nicole banging out the 95lb OHS challenge or her 30 day effort to get 15 x bodyweight.
So, drop the weight way, way back and practice killer form. Search to boards, watch the videos.
Train On.

BTW, this is just my worthless two cents, but it's working for me.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #6
Bill Russell
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

Jay, your coments are far from worthless. You have exceptional form and flexibility so I'll try what you suggest.

Todd, I really struggled with FS, my elbows just did not want to come up. Doug Chapman gave me a few pointers that really helped me. First of all, I was gripping the bar with my entire hand, like I was holding a fully extended overhead press. He showed me how to let the bar rest on my chest and just keep the bar in place with my index finger. He also had me load up a heavy bar(more than I could lift) on a squat rack and then attempt to rack the bar and just work on pushing my elbows up as high as I could. I'm not sure I described that well enough, but try it, it has helped me.

Bill Russell
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www.crossfitcleveland.com
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:53 PM   #7
Mark Edwards
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

My wrists made it too painful to do this exercise with any weight on the bar at all, so I switched to back squats. I'll practice FS form with the empty bar and flexibility as rx'd above. Thanks for the helpful info.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:18 PM   #8
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

Practice with JV (Askem) squats to make sure you are actually putting the bar in the crook of your shoulder.

check out this w/f/s Squat Rx vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60RPh2ueEds
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:10 AM   #9
Jay Cohen
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

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Originally Posted by Bill Russell View Post
Jay, your coments are far from worthless. You have exceptional form and flexibility so I'll try what you suggest.

Todd, I really struggled with FS, my elbows just did not want to come up. Doug Chapman gave me a few pointers that really helped me. First of all, I was gripping the bar with my entire hand, like I was holding a fully extended overhead press. He showed me how to let the bar rest on my chest and just keep the bar in place with my index finger. He also had me load up a heavy bar(more than I could lift) on a squat rack and then attempt to rack the bar and just work on pushing my elbows up as high as I could. I'm not sure I described that well enough, but try it, it has helped me.

Bill Russell
CrossFit Cleveland
www.crossfitcleveland.com
Bill, thanks very much for the kind words. Hope to see you again soon and you do have a once a week "new member" when your building gets done. BTW, if you are having a moving in party, please accept my offer to help.
Have a great week.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:58 AM   #10
Jerry Berg
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Re: Front Squat and Elbows up

to build the flexibility in the wrists and arms, load a bar with an obscene amount of weight, way more than you can even get out of the rack. walk up to it in the rack, and position it in a perfect FS rack position. stay under the weight and just lift your elbows. hold it for a few seconds and then back out.

this was suggested to me by coach rut and i've found it really helps my wrist/elbow/shoulder flexibility
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