Leave it to the internet to make life WAY more interesting right? Nowadays because of our ability to be so connected it doesn’t take long for an idea to get traction. Unfortunately, not all ideas are good ones! No, I’m not the grumpy old “there is nothing wrong with what we have been doing for years” guy. In fact, if you have been following us at all, you know that isn’t anything close to the case. However, I do feel responsible in having a platform that is respected to shed light on ideas that could actually cause more problems than do good and the example I’m thinking about is what people are calling a “rotary” squat.
What is a rotary squat and why would someone try to add a rotational component to a squat? The good part of this whole discussion is that people are starting to see the disconnect of what we ask people to do in the gym and what they actually do in life and sport. For example, almost no sport performs a typical squat we see in the gym, they get into angles and positions that allow them to move fluidly and quickly.
The rotary squat teaches how to load one hip to create a powerful change of direction. The “rotary” part actually comes through the thoracic spine, NOT the lumbar spine, which taps into the fact we are rotational beings and the pre-loading of the body in this manner creates more power when we then explode to the other direction.
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People are starting to realize that we don’t just move up and down in life, so why would our fitness not match more real world needs. A great example of being more thoughtful about real world strength is building rotation. Unfortunately most people misunderstand how our bodies create rotation and use exercises that don’t match how our body is designed to move. Learn 3 exercises that give us smarter rotational strength!
Above you see me give an example of the rotary squat (somewhat;) but also discuss many of the misunderstanding and limitations of the movement.
Having said all that, functional fitness is NOT about replicating what we do in life and sport, but building the qualities of these movements. In the case of the squat, no we never really perform a deep squat in life or sport, but that isn’t why we have people do deep squats. The reason we do so is that we are building mobility of the ankle, knee, and hip while building strength in the lower body and trunk. These are attributes we need to perform at a higher level because we are more mobile and stronger.
Does that mean we can’t progress to more sophisticated squat patterns? Not at all! As you know, we love to progress movement as long as there is purpose and systemization emphasized. We talk about multi-planar squats all the time and learning to RESIST movement is so essential before we move into going into more complex patterns.
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I can say this because I spent so much time believing squats were a functional exercise. But our narrow minded view of squats doesn’t offer many solutions for what the real world requires outside our comfortable, padded-cell gym environments. Find out how to make this leg exercise more!
You can see by what DVRT Master, Cory Cripe demonstrates that the Shoulder squat is one of the best examples of squats that force us to produce and resist motion at the same time. However, we have to understand the intent and progressions we have available to allow people to be successful.
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This @ultimatesandbag and #leverbell drill may seem "strange", but if we re-evaluate we see something quite amazing. I'm a big fan of asymetrical loading especially with this @ultimatesandbag shoulder #squat a great way to make the movement more multi-planar and an incredible #core exercise. However, many people fail to make the connection and progressions to resist the rotation #ultimatesandbag delivers. By adding the press out with the leverbell it ties in tension that connects grip, lats, and core together. The press out itself doesn't add much load to the squat, it simply creates greater connection to the kinetic chains that builds #corestrength and enables to teach people how to develop the strength and skill to achieve the results that this great movement offers. Thinking differently is how we create innovation! 📷 @cyborggainz
You can see above how DVRT coach Filip demonstrates how we can teach people HOW to resist unwanted movement by using a Lever Bell Press Out as we perform the Shoulder Squat.
Learning to resist unwanted movement before we move to more complex patterns is essential so that we have both the strength and the coordination to control our bodies in the right manner. I’ve actually been holding back on some of these DVRT squat progressions because so many people nowadays want to do the “cool” stuff before they have ownership over the good foundations of movement. However, I wanted to share these advanced DVRT progressions because I want you to have a better understanding of what these functional fitness concepts mean!
If we are truly going to perform a “rotational” squat we have to consider a few things….
-Rotation occurs at the hip not the trunk. The trunk follows the hips so we MUST see a pivot in the motion to create force from the ground up!
-We actually want our trunk to resist unwanted movement so we look to have a “plank” as we go into the motion. Using the Ultimate Sandbag not only are we adding load to our legs, but it allows us to create tension that develops that stability and plank so we do NOT hurt our low backs.
-The stance has to be wider to allow rotation to occur and we don’t place unnecessary stress upon the knee. So, you will never achieve the same depth as you would in a more typical squat.
That is why I provided this series to see how we can use all of these DVRT concepts to not only expand what squat exercises you can use, but how you can see where we take movement. In the first drill you see me use the sprinter stance that allows me to introduce how to resist movement to my pelvis and adding in thoracic movement I am learning how to be mobile at one area and stable at another. The WHOLE time I am using the Ultimate Sandbag as a means to create the stability to allow movement I want and resist movement I do not! That is the true essence of good stability training but now we also add strength!
Functional fitness is a much bigger can of worms than most realize because you must understand human movement, not just gym exercises to make it truly successful. Try adding these concepts to your next program!
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Fitness can be a funny beast. We have groups that are pretty serious about NEVER changing what “has been done before” (whatever that actually means since there has never been one system of overall training). Another group with that will try new things, but can get down their own missed path in looking what is happening in a movement. …… ➡️ I’m one of the first to say that multi-planar work is important. However, understanding how these different planes of motion relate to familiar exercises is important. For example, can you really have a rotational #squat ? Rotation occurs from the hips, not the torso (not good rotation at least) so trying to “twist” the body while the feet are planted is a recipe for having issues in the low back. Can we have somewhat of a squat as we rotate? We can, but as the you see it becomes much more of a hybrid of a squat and hip hinge. …… ️ ➡️ We use the Ultimate #Sandbag for load and tension so that we can learn to stabilize the trunk properly. In such drills we are looking for mobility at the hips and thoracic spine while we create stability at the lumbar spine. In other words, this is a very advanced drill that needs some greater foundations before we move into such patterns. ……. ➡️ A great example are these 3 #DVRT #squats where we learn to RESIST frontal and transverse forces by first changing the load on the body and then our stance. Since the thoracic spine won’t have HUGE movement in any of these drills, we also need to teach people how to control that thoracic movement. The point is there are more athletic ways to teach #squatting however, we have to possess the progressions and understanding to know what is happening and how to build more sophisticated #strengthtraining .