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Thread: Upper body strength and stability

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkpeter View Post

    I have almost entirely discontinued pull ups from my lifters as the effect on the downward-rotators of the scapular are too great as a cost-benefit.
    tell me a little more about this please

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNL View Post
    tell me a little more about this please
    Well, how long have you got?

    Upward rotation and elevation of the scapular is commonly lacking in stalled lifters, particularly so when load is advanced before positions. Along with thoracic extension, I would say its a prime deficiency for overhead stability. At some point, this can no longer be compensated for by the lower body and trunk, and in fact actually feeds alignment problems in these places.

    Imagine there is a war going on for control of the scapular (and the clavicle), upward rotators vs downward rotators; upper traps, levator scapulae, upper/mid serratus vs rhomboids and lats. Pull ups really bring up the strength and proprioceptive capacity of the downward rotators (rhomboids and lats). Under load, instead of upwardly rotating and elevating the scapular up and into the bar, the load instead is allowed to keep the scapular down in place.

    Banging away with a lot of pull ups can contribute to this problem remaining a problem. When people should be developing some better upward rotation and elevation, their scapular remains almost nailed to their rib cage.

    How would you describe your scapular mobility?

  3. #13
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    In general it is something I want to work on, I have a kyphotic posture to an extent, thoracic tightness is often something I really need to work on. What do you advise in this respect if things like lat training/pullups aren't going to help?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNL View Post
    In general it is something I want to work on, I have a kyphotic posture to an extent, thoracic tightness is often something I really need to work on. What do you advise in this respect if things like lat training/pullups aren't going to help?
    Certainly thoracic extension needs to be a high frequency intervention for training. One of the overlooked elements of this is the breathing control, as this 'skill' is integral to how you move in general and absolutely how you set up and execute every lift.

    The scapular control always works best when you block off the rest of the body as much as possible in the initial stages before taking it back to the lifts. Obviously it doesn't matter what population group it is in a general sense but the throwing community is much more aware of these issues than the lifting community is. I use a bunch of drills on a massage table, then kneeling, against a wall, and on the floor to address what the low abs are doing, what the rib cage is doing, what the scapular is doing all in isolation.

    The good news is, if you haven't delved deeply into improving this area there is quite a bit of improvement to be had. I have to say though, finding in-person help is darn near impossible. Many of the therapists I have encountered really have trouble feeding improvements into a lifter as its not something that can be 'fixed' in a couple of consults; and on that matter, the therapy community is often trained to look for pain, and we're not talking about pain here, we're talking about insufficiency in function. You can probably do the lifts ok, but by the sounds of it, you're now aware of lacking some end range positions.

    If you like I can DM some clips that might be helpful as better examples of where to start.

  5. #15
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    The most surprising bodybuilding exercise that probably helped me the most for snatch/jerk stability was actually cable rear delt raises on a pec dec machine. I'd do anywhere from 3 sets of 10, one set of 100, but usually it was 3-4 sets of 10 or 20. I'd also try to do isometric sort of psuedo-iron cross type things at lockout, and hold my lock out with a bit of extra stretch for an iso hold of 30 seconds or so. I did them 2-3x a week after training, usually the hardest workout before a weekend to recover. Anyway, for the life of me I could never Sots press, regardless of the mobility work I did, maybe 4 months into this, I just went and tried it one day and could, and worked up to 40kg x 3-5 or something in a couple weeks. I went from a 75kg snatch push press that gave me some kind of rhomboid or rear delt strain/tear, to a solid 80kg x 2 snatch balance. Obviously still pretty weak, but improvement is improvement. So one little bodybuilding exercise working on a weakness paid off huge.

    Generally high rep pressing helped me a lot, too, especially on the jerk, high rep fast pressing for sets of 10. Another neglected/weird thing is presses from the split, or once I started power jerking, press from the dip position. That and while it's not bodybuilding, jerk supports, but also on power jerks especially, holding the bottom squat position for anywhere from 5-30 seconds while trying to sink a tiny bit deeper as you count down.

  6. #16
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    My favorites:

    - Snatch push press for sets of 3-5
    - Alternating strict press for sets of 10. E.g., start with the bar on your back, press from behind, lower it to your front rack, press from front, repeat that sequence 4 more times.

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