The Key To Unlock Your Squat

baby-squat

If you want to be an all around stronger, more powerful, and more dynamic athlete, then squatting in some form must be in your  present training regimen. As critical is this exercise is, it absolutely amazes our team how many athletes and “weekend warriors” alike hate and even try to avoid the squat. Yes, we know that squatting is hard but with a few simple and helpful hints you can master this key exercise and start to push some serious weight!

How is your mobility??

We could talk squatting technique until we are blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is that until  you are proficiently mobile in your hips, ankles, and thoracic spine, it will be extremely hard to improve your squat technique. Whether your heels come off the ground, your knees cave in, you have bad posture, or your hips round at the bottom,all problems of the squat and any exercise for that matter stem from MOBILITY. Although often neglected, mobility should be at the forefront of training. The more mobile an athlete is, the more powerful they will become!

How can I fix my mobility then??

confused

Proper mobility stems from what we like to call corrective exercises . Correctives help to improve deficiencies  in movement patterns that will allow us to improve mobility. Since we are talking about the hips, ankles and thoracic spine we will highlight a corrective from each category to get you started towards improving your mobility.

Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

hip-flexor-stretch

Tight hip flexors are an area of improvement for most athletes and your hips are vitally important especially if you want to become a better mover. To perform the half kneeling hip flexor stretch, get down on one knee and raise both arms into the air. Next lean your hips forward keeping an upright torso to stretch your hip flexor muscles. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds then perform on the other side.

Wall Ankle Stretch

Standing soleus stretch

Perform the wall ankle stretch by first standing in a split stance with the “up” foot six inches from the wall. While holding the wall, keep your up foot flat on the ground and work to press your knee to the wall.  When you can successfully press your knee to the wall, move your foot slightly back and perform again.

Perform exercise 2 sets of 10 repetitions( 2×10) per  leg

Kneeling Thoracic Stretch

618_348_the-issue-limited-thoracic-rotation-workouts-moves-to-get-you-back-in-balance

Get on your hands and knees and  beginning with your right arm, reach through between your hands and knees to your left side and hold for 4 seconds to stretch your thoracic spine. Next perform on the other side.

Perform 2×5 each side

These tips are vital in getting more mobile in your squat. perform these corrective exercises each day and watch those squat numbers go WAYYYYY up!!!

~ Swxlller

The 5 Laws to Build Quality Muscle : Law 3- Recover for Growth

rest-2

Gym…

Gym gym gym – the word excites many young athletes who are anxious to get big and build muscle. Of course the more time you spend in the gym the more you are going to grow right? Yes, but not necessarily. When learning to build quality muscle one must understand that recovery is just as important and maybe more important to achieve adequate muscle growth.

The reason behind this fact lies in the recovery process that happens once your end your training session. when you exercise you stress your muscle fibers with millions of micro tears. Upon recovery these tears heal and the muscle fibers grow larger during this process. Over time this cycle is what causes muscles to grow larger due to the constant added stress from training. However when you do not achieve the right amount of recovery between training sessions and during sleep, you inhibit your body from completing this process which can lead to excessive bouts of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), a decreased resistance to illness, emotional mood swings, and a decreased urge to train.

Proper Rest Protocols to Achieve Quality Muscle

Hormones play a key role in your ability to build muscle. The optimal levels of growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisol all play a part in your body’s ability to respond to the stressors of training. When you sleep your body is able to regulate these hormones to help your body grow. This is why it is recommended to get a good nights rest.

(Side Note: Human growth hormone  (HGH), the one substance that is BANNED and what so many athletes are busted for each year is produced NATURALLY  when you SLEEP! Be Smart)

So what constitutes a good nights rest?

The standard recommendation of 8 hours per night work for most people but factors such as the athletes training age, current nutrition habits, and muscle fiber composition will play a major part for this number. This sleep should be UNDISTURBED. Turn off all lights, electronics, and allow your body to go into a deep sleep to repair itself.

Supplements such as melatonin and ZMA both help to achieve deep sleep and regulate hormones while sleeping. It is imperative that hormones such as cortisol and DHEA are under control due to the fact that their increased levels can be devastating to an athlete. Symptoms of abnormal levels of cortisol and DHEA include:

  • Excessive exhaustion
  • Increased need for carbs in the evening
  • Increased serotonin levels which channeled to thoughts of depression
  • Prolonged muscle soreness
  • Salt and water retention
  • Increased R.E.M sleep

The Key:

Yes train dirty!! Get in the gym and cause hell each time you train, but you you must rest just as hard. Each night plan to go to REAL SLEEP. Cut off those phones, instagram can wait, and turn the tv OFF. Always remember, you GROW when you SLEEP.

Bahar, J. (2015). Rest & Overtraining: What Does This Mean for Body Builders.

The Power of The Knife and Fork: Part 1

Put The Pop Tarts AWAY

Family,

After our slight “Come to Jesus Meeting” last week, its time to bring you in and coach you up on the most important factor in changing your life: NUTRITION.

First and foremost we don’t say DIET here..period. Your nutrition has to be in direct correlation to your fitness and health goals. Instead of using the word diet we will use the word FUEL. Think about this: If you bought a new Ashton Martin tomorrow (my personal favorite) would you drive your nice shiny new car to the “Cona Sto'” and use 87?? HELL No!! You would damn near go to the dealership to gas that car up with jet fuel if you could. Well if this is the case .. and don’t lie you would lol, why do you do the same with your food?

I’m sad to say that with all the trolls on instagram, you tube, and all of the internet, the overload of faulty nutrition information can be overwhelming and very costly. Everywhere you turn there is a new pill, potion, butt lifter, waist corset, powder.. ehh you get my drift. Here at The Swxller Company we stick to the basics and inform our athletes to the secret of nutrition

Which is…..

NUTRIENT DENSITY

So what is nutrient density? Nutrient density refers to the nutrient quality of the food you are eating on a daily basis. Our bodies haven’t changed in over 100,000 years however we seem to believe that we can cheat the system with processed foods, GMO’s, and the almighty 99 cent menu. Well we are here to tell you that if you do not fuel your body with the proper nutrients you are literally eating yourself into an early grave. Dun Dun…. pretty scary right??

Lets keep this thing simple, if you want to increase your nutrient density you need to eat less CRAP and eat more FOOD

Eat less CRAP:

C – Carbonated Drinks
R – Refined Sugar
A – Artificial Sweeteners and Artificial Colors
P – Processed Foods
Eat more FOOD:

F – Fruits and Vegetables
O – Organic Lean Proteins
O – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D – Drink Water

Solutions

C- It doesn’t matter if its diet, zero, whatever… if you want to increase your performance you will use coke for its true purpose taking the corrosion off of your battery

R- The sugar you eat should come from your fruits

A- YouTube the effects of aspartame.. thank me later

P- If you can’t grow it or kill it.. you probably shouldn’t be eating it

Food-

F- Eat the Rainbow- your fruits and vegetables should be in a variety of colors. From a boost in immunity, to increased musculature and heart health, each color has a specific purpose to not only heal but reverse the effects of any harm that the CRAP has caused to your body

Want to know more? Check out this article

November 2008 Issue

Color Me Healthy — Eating for a Rainbow of Benefits
By Juliann Schaeffer
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 10 No. 11 P. 34

O- “The Less Legs the Better” always follow this rule in choosing your meats. Cold water fish such as salmon and trout are a very good start. Also be sure to seek out the hunting and fishing community to get information on grass-fed and wild game that haven’t had access to processed grains and vegetables.

O- If you don’t have fish oil in your cabinet, shame on you haha.. don’t take our word for it , lets see what Dr. Frank Sacks, Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health has to say.

“Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.”

D- DRINK WATER.. a lot of it… all the time.. We won’t tell you again.. if it’s not a gallon per day you are playing yourself

Thats it this week!! Tune in next week for part two as we deep dive into nutrition.

Feed the Wolf

Minor Bowens, CSCS, USAW

The Swxller Co.