Training Tip Tuesday

Barbell Kneeling Squat

Since I started up the rollerderbystrengthcoach blog, I’ve gotten a lot of emails about what sort of exercises skaters should be doing. It’s a great question, but one with a vast array of answers. What you SHOULD be doing depends on what your goals are, what your current physical condition is like, what your current performance metrics look like, where you are in your season, whether you have any injury or biomechanical/kinesthetic restrictions, etc… in other words, it’s a really difficult question to answer in a vacuum.

There are, however, some movements that can be incorporated into pretty much any players’ arsenal of off-skates exercises. One of my faves is the barbell kneeling squat.

I know it looks a bit silly, and if you’ve ever been in a gym where you’ve seen this done you probably associate it with bikini competitors rather than contact sport athletes, but trust me, this is a good one.

Hip extension is, by and large, the most important movement in any sport that requires an athlete to move their entire body or generate power. There are 4 primary muscles involved in hip extension but the largest and most powerful is the gluteus maximus (aka, the glutes). Yep, your butt muscles are the ones we’re targeting here.

zebras-1081445_1280.jpg
Kneeling squats work great for skating refs, too. 

You may be thinking, “but don’t regular squats and lunges work your butt?” If you are then you’re partially right, but the truth is regular squats and lunges produce far less activity in the muscle fibers that make up the glutes than this exercise does, regardless of the type or depth of the squat or lunge. In fact, the only category of exercise that elicits MORE peak butt-muscle-fiber activity are those that allow for hip hyperextension, like hip thrusts and glute bridges.

Now you’re probably thinking, “why don’t we just do hip thrusts and glute bridges then?” Well, we do. Lots of them. We do squats of all different varieties as well. But here’s the snazzy thing about kneeling squats that makes them worthwhile… the position in a kneeling squat severely disadvantages your hamstrings and prevents them from taking over for your glutes, a problem that lots of people, particularly beginners, have when doing hyperextension-type exercises like hip thrusts. Plus, because you have to stabilize the bar by keeping your core tight and your thoracic spine stiff throughout the movement, you’re getting a hell of a lot of workout with just this one simple exercise.

It looks weird, but a few cheeky stares in the gym are worth the results, I promise. (See what I did there?) Anyway, it’s time to get your butt to the gym and give it a try.

  • special thanks to Kitten Not Submitten’ from Gold Coast Derby Grrls for being my demo victim… 🙂

If you like learning cool new exercises like this for derby training, then you definitely don’t want to miss our free #upyourgame fitness challenge. There’s only a few days left to get in on it though, so make sure to get the details and sign up today!

upyourgame

 

 

 

Published by

Justass of the Piece

Whether it's in an introduction for my business or an "about me" section of a social media site, I find that writing about myself is always one of the hardest things to do. The phrase "I'm a ..." has always filled me with anxiety. I guess then that the easiest way is to start with the basics. I'm in my early 40's, have no kids but do have two pit bulls who think they are children, am married to a giant Scotsman and I currently spend the majority of my time coaching both athletes and regular 9-5ers to get stronger, faster and more physically powerful. Although I currently work predominantly in strength and conditioning/fitness, I am also a licensed attorney and still handle a case or two on occasion and serve as a guardian ad litem for the court system here in South Florida. I've never been one to be defined by a job and over the years I've played a whole lot of different roles, including exotic dancer (i.e. stripper), concert promoter, entertainment agent, motorcycle shop owner, magazine editor and cocktail waitress. I have multiple bachelor's degrees, an associate degree in music production and, of course my law degree. I've also got a bunch of different strength and conditioning and fitness certifications from various national and private organizations including the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Titleist Performance Institute. My strength and conditioning career stemmed from my days as an athlete, when I played softball and basketball in high school in college and roller derby and American football until just a few years ago when I retired from contact sports. I've recently started training for Highland Heavy Athletics too, so I guess you can say I want to do "all the things." The same applies in my non-work life. I love hiking, kitesurfing (I'm terrible at it but love it nonetheless), camping, spending time at the beach, going to concerts, spending time at the zoo, skydiving or driving around in my ridiculously non-ecologically friendly Jeep with my dogs. Oh, and I'm learning to play Irish Tin Whistle. Yep, I'm pretty eclectic. Although I've dabbled with writing in the past (mostly travel stories for the motorcycle magazine that I used to edit), I've never done so on a consistent basis or with any sort of deeper purpose in mind. I'm hoping that the stories I share on both #haveshoeswilltravel and rollerderbystrengthcoach will do just that... help others learn some stuff and maybe even give them incentives to try new things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s