is simply one of the very best exercises you can
do for building muscle and strength. Period.
would you say if I told you that your body has
the potential to lift 10% or more weight in the
squat RIGHT NOW, with just a small adjustment
in how you perform the exercise?
you're going to learn exactly how it's done. You're
going to learn how to use your core muscles to
not only stabilize your upper body during the
squat (the regular squat technique), but to actually
help PUSH the weight up as well. This is how you
will be able to use more weight instantly - you'll
be using more muscles to push the weight up!
an extremely powerful technique that will not
only help you use more weight, it will help you
develop incredible core strength, power and stability.
In fact, use of this technique while squatting
can even help you become a more powerful athlete
because it teaches you how to use your core muscles
to not only stabilize during but to actively participate
in powerful movements found in most sports.
result: a stronger throw, a higher jump, a more
devastating punch and a more powerful kick.
I go on to explain the technique for improving
the squat, you need to know how to properly perform
the basic squat. For information on how to perform
the squat, please click on this link:
Don't Know Squat About Squats"
To Squat With Your Core:
you how to use your core to push during a squat
is not a one-step process, nor is it something
that comes naturally to most. I'm going to take
you through several progressions that will force
your body to learn the technique so you can immediately
apply it to your squatting.
we need to pre-exhaust the muscle of the core.
Pre-exhausting is a technique whereby you work
a single target muscle group in isolation, e.g.
flyes for the chest, before working it in combination
with other muscle groups, e.g. bench press for
on earth do we need to pre-exhaust the muscles
that we're trying to use to make another exercise
stronger? Won't that defeat the purpose of the
answer is simple. When the core muscles are fresh
and unworked, it would be much harder to actually
feel how we want them to work. When we pre-exhaust
them with one specific exercise (which I will
teach you) then work them another specific exercise
(which I will also teach you), the core muscles
will be the weak link and your body will be forced
to use the core to push in order to actually perform
basically a way of selectively exhausting your
core muscles to make you feel them working in
the way we want. Without pre-exhausting, the core
muscles won't be forced to work like this and
it wouldn't teach you the technique.
exercise we're going to use to pre-exhaust the
core is called the
"Cable Gripping Trunk Twist." This exercise
targets the entire group of core muscles in a
not go through the full technique of how to perform
the exercise right here. To learn how to do the
exercise, please see below.
two sets of 8 reps of this exercise with 30 seconds
rest in between the two sets. You should feel
all the muscles of the core tighten up from this
movement so be sure to work it hard.
we move directly to the exercise that will teach
you how to push with the core. Your core is pre-exhausted
and ready to go. The exercise you will be doing
is the "Low Pulley Deadlift."
a straight or cambered bar to a low pulley. Use
a fairly heavy weight for this exercise (the whole
weight stack may be necessary). The execution
is very similar to a standard deadlift.
into the start position, making sure your lower
back is arched. Now take a few steps back, away
from the pulley, taking the weight with you. This
angle on the pulley you get from stepping back
is critical in teaching you how to push with your
do a deadlift movement but keep the knees fairly
bent and focus primarily on straightening at the
hips rather than the knees (you'll want to keep
your knees bent throughout the movement). You
should notice your core muscles immediately quivering
as tension shoots through that area.
The Low Pulley
In order to even
perform the movement, you now have to use your
core muscles to push up. Without pushing with
the core, you'll pitch forward due both to the
angle of the cable on the low pulley and the
direct backward force you need to exert to keep
from falling forward.
2 or 3 sets of 8 reps of the Low Pulley Deadlift,
focusing as hard as you can on pushing your torso
straight using your core muscles. This exercise
is all about learning to feel the core pushing,
not necessarily about working the muscles. Using
enough weight is very important to learning that
feeling so don't go too light with this exercise.
you can reliably feel your core muscles pushing
in this exercise, you're ready to apply it to
the squat bar with weight you'd normally use for
about 8 reps. Do one set of squats as you normally
would, not pushing with the core. Push yourself
but not to failure with this set - stay a few
reps short of that point.
we're going to apply what we've learned about
pushing with the core. Using the same weight as
your first set, go down to the bottom of the squat
as you normally would. As you start to come up,
push with your core muscles, just like you did
when performing the Low Pulley Deadlifts a few
to imagine my core muscles compressing like a
coiled spring as I lower myself down to the bottom
of the movement then expanding as I come up. Visualization
in this manner may help you achieve the proper
focus as well.
pushing with the core should allow you to squat
up more easily than in the previous non-core set.
The core is no longer a passive stabilizer but
an active participant in the movement.
will take a little practice to get your mind into
the technique but the results are very much worth
it. You could be squatting more weight more comfortably
in a matter of minutes!
the core pre-exhaust Cable Gripping Trunk Twist
and Low Pulley Deadlifts regularly to not only
help teach your core to push but to strengthen
it as well. The carryover in strength to the squat
your squat form may not visibly be any different
when you do this squat, this unique focused activation
of the core will result in significantly increased
power and strength in the exercise.
Cable Gripping Trunk Twist
is the exercise you will use to pre-exhaust
your core area in preparation for the
Low Pulley Deadlift.
is a variation of an exercise you may
already be familiar with. The exercise
this variation is based on is commonly
known as a "Cable Torso Rotation."
This variation takes this basic concept
and adds a unique twist that literally
doubles the effectiveness of the exercise.
is done on a cable machine. If you have
access to a machine that has an adjustable
height pulley, this is the best option.
If not, it will also work on either
a high or low pulley. The movement itself
is exactly the same regardless of where
you pull from.
pulley to about belly-button height
(or use either the high or low pulley)
and attach a single cable handle to
it. Use a fairly light weight to start
so you get an idea of how the movement
is performed and what resistance you'll
perpendicular to the pulley with your
left side towards the pulley. Grasp
the handle with your right hand and
take a step to the right. Plant your
feet a little wider than shoulder width
apart and get ready to rotate. The movement
itself is very similar to a baseball
swing, making it a very effective sports-training
movement not only for baseball but from
any sport that requires a powerful transfer
of force from lower body to upper body.
start of the movement, your right arm
will be held across your chest with
your left arm at your side. Initiate
the movement by rotating your torso
to the right. Be sure to keep your elbow
slightly bent and locked into position.
If you allow the elbow to bend, you
will turn the movement into a side row,
lessening the effect on the obliques.
Keep that arm stiff and fairly straight!
start this rotation, begin bringing
the cable around in front of your body
by pulling on the cable handle with
your right arm. Your right arm will
come away from your body as you rotate,
placing more torque on the obliques.
the trick that doubles the workload
on the abs...
start to approach the midpoint of the
rotation, grasp the CABLE about 6 inches
from the cable clip with your left hand.
Do not grasp the handle itself with
the left hand - it's important that
you wrap your left hand around the actual
cable for this to work. Read on...
In a normal
cable rotation exercise, after you go
past the halfway point of the rotation,
the tension on the abs will start decreasing.
The peak tension is at the halfway point.
We're going to fix that!
passed the halfway point of the rotation,
continue pulling the handle with your
right hand but now start PUSHING forward
and away from your body on the cable
itself with your left hand. As a visual,
think of the string games that kids
play such as the Cat's Cradle.
essentially doing is creating a new
fulcrum for the tension of the cable
to go through. Instead of losing some
tension around the arc as you normally
would, you now have direct tension on
the abs again and in a different way
than in the regular rotation exercise.
This not only works the obliques on
the pulling side with the pulling motion,
it also works the obliques on the pushing
side with a strong pushing motion.
on the abs with this double movement
is tremendous! The next day you should
have a very strong feeling of tightness
(and possibly soreness) in the upper/side
How To Do Cable Gripping Trunk Twists:
pictures demonstrates the position
of the left hand on the cable
at the end of the movement.
cable is bent about 90 degrees
at the end. The right arm is
only stabilizing the movement
now and the left arm is pushing
against the resistance.
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