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Harriet

Harriet's Year of Transformation: Act IV

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21 minutes ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

Do you have a particular motion that aggravates this the most? (Ie, internal rotation, reaching above your shoulders, etc.)


Oooh, I just tested it and ow. It hurts most when I try to put it up and back, as in, how I place my arm/hands for a barbell back squat. It also complains a bit when I reach back to get it through my backpack strap. Straight up or forward is fine. 

 

27 minutes ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

 

I had this problem a LOT when I started. I don't know if it's a cue you already use, but for me, the difference maker was instead of telling myself "sit back", to tell myself "sit between your knees" and "screw your feet into the mat".

Hope these help!

 

I have the exact opposite problem: I would love my deadlift set up to be as sharp as my squat.

That said, there's something to be said for a consistent and crisp set up in your lifts. If you can generate the tension before getting the weight on you, everything feels about 20 lbs lighter.


I'm trying to figure out so many things in the squat, including: do I puff my chest out or tuck it down (what I think of as my angry-dwarf-hunker-down*, which I use for my ohp)? Should I let the bar push my shoulders a little downward and forward and tighten them there, or try to push them up/back? Should my pelvis be posteriorly tilted at the start, or not? (It aways ends up un-tilting at the bottom, so I'm not sure what the point is, but someone said to do this) And then it's "straight bar path" but also trying to figure out where to stop, trying not to come forward, noticing my feet and ankles are struggling to keep me balanced, and trying not to good morning it, and also "knees out". So I feel I'm trying to focus on everything at once, including not losing my balance. Hmm. No wonder it's wobbly, eh? 

*I'm definitely making this into an acronym. 

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10 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Oooh, I just tested it and ow. It hurts most when I try to put it up and back, as in, how I place my arm/hands for a barbell back squat. It also complains a bit when I reach back to get it through my backpack strap. Straight up or forward is fine. 

 

What part of the shoulder hurts when you do that? And is it a piercing pain or like a musclular stretching/working pain?

 

10 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I'm trying to figure out so many things in the squat, including: do I puff my chest out or tuck it down (what I think of as my angry-dwarf-hunker-down*, which I use for my ohp)? Should I let the bar push my shoulders a little downward and forward and tighten them there, or try to push them up/back? Should my pelvis be posteriorly tilted at the start, or not? (It aways ends up un-tilting at the bottom, so I'm not sure what the point is, but someone said to do this) And then it's "straight bar path" but also trying to figure out where to stop, trying not to come forward, noticing my feet and ankles are struggling to keep me balanced, and trying not to good morning it, and also "knees out". So I feel I'm trying to focus on everything at once, including not losing my balance. Hmm. No wonder it's wobbly, eh? 

*I'm definitely making this into an acronym. 

 

There's definitely a lot going on the the squat lol. I always set the safety pins to where they'd hold the bar about 3 inches below parallel. That helped me find my depth, and now it's amazing for confidence.

As for the posterior tilt, I do that before each rep too, as it's a great cue to involve your glutes (I struggle with glute activation in lower rep ranges).

Also, loving the idea of ADHD squats.

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10 minutes ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

What part of the shoulder hurts when you do that? And is it a piercing pain or like a musclular stretching/working pain?


Inside the joint. It's not muscle pain but feels like tendon/ligament pain, like after I sprained my ankle and the ankle would complain about everything. It's not getting worse, but I think continuing to lift may be preventing it getting better. 

 

13 minutes ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

There's definitely a lot going on the the squat lol. I always set the safety pins to where they'd hold the bar about 3 inches below parallel. That helped me find my depth, and now it's amazing for confidence.

As for the posterior tilt, I do that before each rep too, as it's a great cue to involve your glutes (I struggle with glute activation in lower rep ranges).

Also, loving the idea of ADHD squats.

 

Did you practice just missing the pins? Did you do it with just the bar, so you could look around easily? 

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16 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Oooh, I just tested it and ow. It hurts most when I try to put it up and back, as in, how I place my arm/hands for a barbell back squat. It also complains a bit when I reach back to get it through my backpack strap. Straight up or forward is fine. 

Hi. I have a surgically repaired shoulder. I would like to provide some insight on this. With a wonky shoulder (medical term, trust me on this) where you place your hands no longer becomes a preference, but a requirement and you may need to relearn how to squat. I cannot place my hands any closer than a hands length from my shoulders without feeling impingement. This also prevents me from low bar squatting. Play with your hand position until you find a spot where the shoulder is not causing distracting levels of pain (preferably none at all, but sometimes that's not an option)

 

16 minutes ago, Harriet said:


I'm trying to figure out so many things in the squat,

Same

16 minutes ago, Harriet said:

including: do I puff my chest out or tuck it down (what I think of as my angry-dwarf-hunker-down*, which I use for my ohp)?

Show em if you got em, Or if you don't, but get puffy. Chest up is a good cue, because ti will also help you tighten up your lower back.

 

16 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Should I let the bar push my shoulders a little downward and forward and tighten them there, or try to push them up/back?

Never let your shoulders round. That is what is known as

Image result for bad form

PUll your shoulders blades back and together, really squeeze them in under the bar. Helps the bar it on your meat instead of your neck or other not meaty bits.

 

16 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Should my pelvis be posteriorly tilted at the start, or not? (It aways ends up un-tilting at the bottom, so I'm not sure what the point is, but someone said to do this)

Pelvis should be neutral and strong, especially if you're squatting high bar. Tilting one way or another can cause issues, there's a reason why they have pelvic tilt as medical problems. You never hear a doctor say that a pelvis is too neutral (At least I think so, I'm not a doctor) The only time posterior tilt should come into play is if you're squatting below parallel, and it should only exist so long as you can maintain a slight arch in your lower back. The instant that tilt cause flexion you put yourself into a vulnerable position and lose a lot of strength.

 

16 minutes ago, Harriet said:

And then it's "straight bar path" but also trying to figure out where to stop, trying not to come forward, noticing my feet and ankles are struggling to keep me balanced, and trying not to good morning it, and also "knees out". So I feel I'm trying to focus on everything at once, including not losing my balance. Hmm. No wonder it's wobbly, eh? 

There's a ton to track on squats. If you're struggling with form, don't be afraid to back off the weights. Straight bar path is just that, you should keep the bar in the same vertical line from top to bottom and back. As far as stopping, recommendation is parallel, but if you have the flexibility to go below parallel you can always go for it. Ass to grass squats, especially of the paused variety, not only show you have excellent range of motion, but you also have solid overall strength. KNees out just means don't let them collapse inward. Whether they're out or parallel is a comfort thing. So long as your knees don't look like thisImage result for knee valgus squat you should be good. to go.

 

Question. When you squat, what kind of shoes are you using?

 

16 minutes ago, Harriet said:


*I'm definitely making this into an acronym. 

ADHD squats. *Starts* Shiny! *Squats down to look* Bird! *Stands up to look* Do squats make my hips wider? *squats down to look* Is the bar hook loose? *Stands up to look*

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15 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Inside the joint. It's not muscle pain but feels like tendon/ligament pain, like after I sprained my ankle and the ankle would complain about everything. It's not getting worse, but I think continuing to lift may be preventing it getting better. 

 

10 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Hi. I have a surgically repaired shoulder. I would like to provide some insight on this. With a wonky shoulder (medical term, trust me on this) where you place your hands no longer becomes a preference, but a requirement and you may need to relearn how to squat.

 

Grumble beat me to it. I've not had to repair mine, but I've always struggled with mobility and have had to slowly spread my squat grip as I've gone. Shoulders are easy to destroy and hard to fix. Play it safe, especially if it doesn't feel like muscle soreness/tightness.

 

IF they do not hurt, I recommend super light kettlebell armbars and bottoms up presses to aid shoulder/tspine mobility and strengthening the ROM. This doesn't fix issues that are already there, but should help prevent new ones from arising.

 

15 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Did you practice just missing the pins? Did you do it with just the bar, so you could look around easily? 

 

A bit of both. I actually still do this as my warmup, where I'll pause at the bottom with just the bar or light weight. I'll look about to check bar from pin height to make sure I have room. I'll also check my hips to be sure they're moving properly and my thights are parallel. If I think I was high during a set, I'll do the same thing without a bar, just to engrain that position in my head.

 

That said, full disclosure, squatting high is only the devil if you want to compete or want to work a full ROM. A few inches high is still working the crap out of your legs at the end of the day.

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I had a similar shoulder pain when I started squatting and found that doing 10-20 behind the head to in front of the head press motions with a PVC pipe as part of my warm-up helped a bit! You still may need to find a new hand positioning, but I recommend trying it out. :)

 

ETA: 

57 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Show em if you got em, Or if you don't, but get puffy. Chest up is a good cue, because ti will also help you tighten up your lower back.

Unless you have a tendency to over-arch your low back and lose all of your nice core tightness, which a lot of women wind up doing! Shoulder blades together in combination with thinking about ribs towards pelvis are the cues that I find most helpful for folks. Shoulder blades together = engage lats + tighten your upper back. Ribs towards your pelvis is the brace and a common cue if you've done yoga or anything like that before. 

 

...but also we're just yelling things into the internet at you without a video reference. :P

 

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6 minutes ago, raptron said:

Unless you have a tendency to over-arch your low back and lose all of your nice core tightness, which a lot of women wind up doing! Shoulder blades together in combination with thinking about ribs towards pelvis are the cues that I find most helpful for folks. Shoulder blades together = engage lats + tighten your upper back. Ribs towards your pelvis is the brace and a common cue if you've done yoga or anything like that before. 

I realized that I missed talking about the over arching after I posted it, thanks for catching that.

 

6 minutes ago, raptron said:

...but also we're just yelling things into the internet at you without a video reference. :P

 

Related image

 

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

Question. When you squat, what kind of shoes are you using?

 

Quoting this because it matters.

 

When I was a complete barbell newb and had not learned how much shoes matter, I tried to barbell squat in my running shoes. Because running shoes are intended to be soft and cushiony, that made me wobble and was unstable, which led to exactly the ankle issues you're describing. Consider whether you need to replace your current shoes with something with more stability and possibly with ankle support.

 

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57 minutes ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

IF they do not hurt, I recommend super light kettlebell armbars and bottoms up presses to aid shoulder/tspine mobility and strengthening the ROM. This doesn't fix issues that are already there, but should help prevent new ones from arising.


I could try these at super light weights. I watched a video though, and I'd be a bit shy about rolling around on the floor of my gym like a cat that wants tummy rubs but is also planning to bite the delicious hand. 

So I hurt my shoulder doing db bench and presses, presumably because they were too heavy and I lack the stability. I assume kettlebells would be similarly unstable. But perhaps I have been using them incorrectly--it seems like I should be conservative with DB/KB moves, treating them more like activation/warm-ups, and save the whole-assing, PR-seeking approach for my barbell lifts? 

 

1 hour ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

A bit of both. I actually still do this as my warmup, where I'll pause at the bottom with just the bar or light weight. I'll look about to check bar from pin height to make sure I have room. I'll also check my hips to be sure they're moving properly and my thights are parallel. If I think I was high during a set, I'll do the same thing without a bar, just to engrain that position in my head.

 

That said, full disclosure, squatting high is only the devil if you want to compete or want to work a full ROM. A few inches high is still working the crap out of your legs at the end of the day.


I'll give it a try next time for my warm up. I CAN go ATG, but I lose tightness, my pelvis tucks under a bit and my shoulders round a little. But if I don't go ATG I don't get any rebound. So I just need to find a consistent place to stop and reverse. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c379a0364306d6155

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

There's a ton to track on squats. If you're struggling with form, don't be afraid to back off the weights.

 

BUT I AM AFRAID! I wants all the PRs. But seriously, thank you for all the tips. 

 

43 minutes ago, raptron said:

Unless you have a tendency to over-arch your low back and lose all of your nice core tightness, which a lot of women wind up doing! Shoulder blades together in combination with thinking about ribs towards pelvis are the cues that I find most helpful for folks. Shoulder blades together = engage lats + tighten your upper back. Ribs towards your pelvis is the brace and a common cue if you've done yoga or anything like that before. 

 

Tuck AND hunker. Got it. Thanks! 

I am wearing chucks. I have bony, low-volume feet that are flexible and not very muscly, which is why I prefer lace up shoes and boots. My ankles like to sway gently from side to side  in the breeze. 

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2 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

BUT I AM AFRAID! I wants all the PRs. But seriously, thank you for all the tips. 

You joke, but that's how people get hurt. Please don't get hurt.

 

2 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

Tuck AND hunker. Got it. Thanks! 

Except for where you don't, but do. Welcome to proper form!

 

2 minutes ago, Harriet said:


I am wearing chucks. I have bony, low-volume feet that are flexible and not very muscly, which is why I prefer lace up shoes and boots. My ankles like to sway gently from side to side  in the breeze. 

 THose are very good for squatting, generally. Maybe try squatting in socks, really learn to dig your toes and heels into the ground, understand what it feels like to get that grounded/rooted feeling while you squat, then go back to your chucks.

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8 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I could try these at super light weights. I watched a video though, and I'd be a bit shy about rolling around on the floor of my gym like a cat that wants tummy rubs but is also planning to bite the delicious hand. 

 

I totally get that. It's awkward the first several times you do this, but it's super worth it.

 

8 minutes ago, Harriet said:

So I hurt my shoulder doing db bench and presses, presumably because they were too heavy and I lack the stability. I assume kettlebells would be similarly unstable. But perhaps I have been using them incorrectly--it seems like I should be conservative with DB/KB moves, treating them more like activation/warm-ups, and save the whole-assing, PR-seeking approach for my barbell lifts? 

 

Kettle bells are differently unstable, especially bottoms up. They do humble you and you have to press different because the weight is behind your hand, not in it.

That said, you can actually still seek PRs with them when you're familiar with the movement. I actually took about a half to quarter year off from benching to just do kettlebell press to help fix my press pattern. Still PR'd with them. Bonus points when I went back to bench and was stronger at lockout and more stable on the way up.

 

8 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I'll give it a try next time for my warm up. I CAN go ATG, but I lose tightness, my pelvis tucks under a bit and my shoulders round a little. But if I don't go ATG I don't get any rebound. So I just need to find a consistent place to stop and reverse. 

 

Yeah, those are good reasons to not go ATG.

 

8 minutes ago, Harriet said:

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c379a0364306d6155

 

God I love those disgusting little buggers. So sassy.

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3 minutes ago, Grumble said:

You joke, but that's how people get hurt. Please don't get hurt.


Alright. I don't like it, but I'll try not to be an idiot. I shall strive to keep ego out of my squats for now. 

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36 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Alright. I don't like it, but I'll try not to be an idiot. I shall strive to keep ego out of my squats for now. 

 

This is actually one of the main reasons I enjoy barbell lifting. It has forced me to learn how to manage my overgrown ego. :)

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:42 PM, Grumble said:

If you're struggling with form, don't be afraid to back off the weights

^^this.

Find your good form 1st and the PRs will follow. (Not to mention saving yourself a lot of time/frustration backtracking and rebuilding form from the ground up. Trust me on that one.)

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3 hours ago, JustCallMeAmber said:

Find your good form 1st and the PRs will follow. (Not to mention saving yourself a lot of time/frustration backtracking and rebuilding form from the ground up. Trust me on that one.)

 

I had really bad form on a squat once, and injured my knee. Good form is everything.

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4 hours ago, JustCallMeAmber said:

^^this.

Find your good form 1st and the PRs will follow. (Not to mention saving yourself a lot of time/frustration backtracking and rebuilding form from the ground up. Trust me on that one.)


Alright. Redefining PR as Perfect Rep. But only for squats. Everything else I intend to continue WAW-ing. 

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1 hour ago, scalyfreak said:

I had really bad form on a squat once, and injured my knee. Good form is everything.

 

Can confirm, but it was my hip. Every rep is a chance to PR your form, and that goes for every major lift.

 

37 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 Everything else I intend to continue WAW-ing. 

 

Every major lift. Retooling deadlifts and presses are super frustrating too. Everything has a chance to hurt you if you do it incorrectly. Safety First.

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12 minutes ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

 

Can confirm, but it was my hip. Every rep is a chance to PR your form, and that goes for every major lift.

 

 

Every major lift. Retooling deadlifts and presses are super frustrating too. Everything has a chance to hurt you if you do it incorrectly. Safety First.


I think my deadlift is solid. Same every time, pretty sure it's good form. Will get someone to look at it when the powerlifting classes of happiness start, though. 

For now, I guess it's time to watch whatshisname--the little youtube bear with the glorious long yellow hair/beard--on how to Bench and OHP properly! 

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On 1/10/2019 at 2:23 PM, Harriet said:

I am wearing chucks. I have bony, low-volume feet that are flexible and not very muscly, which is why I prefer lace up shoes and boots. My ankles like to sway gently from side to side  in the breeze. 

 

This is me. Small feet, weak ankles, right knee likes to play weeble-wobble when I squat if I'm not in good solid shoes. Well, even when I am, but in solid (non-squishy) shoes I have a chance of fighting back. 

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:


For now, I guess it's time to watch whatshisname--the little youtube bear with the glorious long yellow hair/beard--on how to Bench and OHP properly! 

 

I will never not think of this description every time I see him from now forever. 

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2 hours ago, Jon, Destroyer of Mice said:

Alan Thrall or Jujimufu?

 

Thrall. Wait. Are you saying there are TWO HAIRY YELLOW BEAR-MEN who do powerlifting videos on youtube????

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Thrall. Wait. Are you saying there are TWO HAIRY YELLOW BEAR-MEN who do powerlifting videos on youtube????

 

Well, Junimufu does more bodybuilding stuff, but he has done collaborations with Thrall, Alsruhe, Licis, and tons of others, so there's some powerlifting material on his channel. It is a lot more sensationalized, and I personally find him grating, but the content is good for those who wish to train like him.

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