Ever since my PT days I have only been doing front squats, but for about the fourth day now I have been incorporating back squats into my program again! My leg days have actually been full of dead lifts and both front and back squats throughout the workout.
I thought my back squatting days were over and that made me sad because I was missing the heavy weights that accompanied that squat. But leave it to my fitness enthused husband to push me to jump back in it. Really though I shouldn’t be staying away from my weaknesses but embracing them! Working on them so they become my strengths.
“Work on your weakness until they are strengths, & your strengths until they are second nature.”
So with a light weight and modifications I started back squatting again. The reason I stayed away was because my glutes were not activating during this movement but instead putting all the weight on my lower back (which is why I went to PT- back pain). In order to get my glutes to activate I did several things:
- squatting using the low bar position- this helped me from having my chest cave in as it did when I used the high bar position
- bands- incorporting bands to help target and engage the glutes.
- paused- by pausing at the bottom of the squat it helped stop the ‘butt wink’ effect (where your glutes will turn inwards and your back arches). It also helped activate the right muscles by adding a little more tension
The reason for both bands is because your body, much like a computer, will continually do what it is told in the same way until something is changed. Adding bands to help with inward motion and upward motion just like changing code to making a processing system run differently. With my squats I continued to use my lower back muscles and continued to ‘butt wink’ each and every time I did the movement; until I manipulated the way I performed. The bands around my lower quads helped make sure I was pushing my knees outward. The band around my hips made sure I was flexing and engaging my glutes at the top of the squat.
Excited to take my squats to the next level and make them one of my strengths when it comes to lifting.
I also added bands to my dead lifts to help with taking the load off my back and focusing it more on my glutes. However, since my PT days my dead lift has been feeling much better. I also have to owe that to continuing to incorporate my PT exercises into my warmup by using bands; that way my glutes are already activated before I even begin my workout.
*I apologize for the quality of the photos but I wanted to show how I was using the bands in my training.
what are some ways you embrace your weaknesses in the gym so they become your strengths? Share in the comments.