See my latest article in CrossFit Journal on addressing shoulder imbalances to improve athletic performance and reduce injury risk.
Pinching in the hips during squats is one of the most common complaints I hear from CrossFitters and weightlifters. A variety of restrictions can lead to this form of hip impingement ranging from ankle mobility to core positioning and boney anatomy of the hip joint. In athletes without any glaring deficiencies to address first, the following stretch easily corrects the hip impingement in many of my athletes.
We will describe this stretch as if working on the left hip. First, have the athlete get on hand and knees. Then, extend the right leg and focus on having as much weight on the left knee as possible. The head of the femur (thigh bone) will be gently mobilized deeper into the hip joint. Maintain this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute before proceeding to rotate the leg up (bringing the foot towards the opposite shoulder). Finally, sit back until a stretch is felt in the buttocks. Spend ~1 minute per side stretching in this position (searching for areas of restriction).
Recheck your squat and enjoy the feel of (hopefully) impingement-free squatting!
Recently built my own Functional Movement Screen kit after looking at buying a kit and feeling the cost was too high for its’ simplicity – plus I’ve seen the plastic version break a few times. Thought I’d share my plans for building the kit: Continue reading
While not an exact science, examination of the ratios of various weightlifting ratios can help a lifter identify what areas to focus on in their programming. For example, the suggested optimal ratio for the snatch compared to the clean and jerk is 0.78 – 0.83. If a lifter C&Js 100kg but only snatches 70, they would likely benefit from shifting program focus to addressing the relative weakness of their snatch.
Many weightlifting coaches have suggested optimal ratios of different lifts to analyze weaknesses in these lifts. The following excel document allows for easy calculation of weightlifting ratios and comparison to suggested optimal ratios. The sources listed in the document also provide good resources for understanding why your specific weaknesses might exist.
A variety of lower extremity injuries can occur as a result of decreased ankle mobility, specifically decreased dorsiflexion (see my posts on this HERE and HERE). The ankle dorsiflexion test is my favorite tool for assessing dorsiflexion mobility because it doesn’t require any tools or training, can be quickly performed, and has been shown to have excellent reliability (source).
To perform the test, have the athlete barefoot and kneeling with the tested leg in front. The 1st toe should be 5 inches away from the wall. The athlete then shifts their knee forward, trying to touch the wall with the knee cap while keeping the heel flat on the floor. If the knee cap touches, you can be fairly certain that the athlete has sufficient dorsiflexion mobility. If they cannot touch, dorsiflexion is restricted.
It is important to note that the posterior leg can limit this as well if hip extension is very limited. In this case, have the patient/athlete perform the same test while standing with the tested ankle on a chair or stool.