Quick Thoughts on New Accessory Movements
Written by Coach Slater
This week, we changed up our accessory movements for the rest of the strength cycle and now we want to give you a little more info about how best to perform these movements. So, here’s our “Quick Thoughts” on the four new movements you’ve seen this week.
KB Weighted High Box Step Ups
For this movement, we want you to focus on the concentric drive out of the hole to full standing. Afterwards, you can casually step off the box and restart. We’re not concerned about a technically perfect eccentric lowering for this movement.
Shift your weight so that your center of gravity is balanced over your full foot, and as you create that tension in your hip, begin to lift your down leg off the ground so that you’re balanced solely on the foot on the box. If you have pain at the front of the hip during the movement, first make sure to tuck your hips underneath you to get your pelvis into a neutral position, and then consider lowering the height of the box so the angle of your hip flexion is decreased.
Now, for the rep scheme… if you’re shooting for 16 total reps and not 20, it should be because you chose an appropriately heavy weight which only allowed you to complete 8 reps per side and the 9th rep would have caused your form to deteriorate enough, or leave you too fatigued, so you had to stop at 8. We could program less reps with more weight, or more reps with less weight, but as an accessory developer, we feel that 8-10 reps should provide the desired stimulus.
It should be obvious that we don’t want you to heave the DB up, but also, don’t let your elbows move. They should remain tight to your side thru the entire movement, with your palms facing in. This neutral grip has a greater carryover to pullups, which is the entire reason we’re performing this accessory movement. So, it’s important that you’re attempting to go heavy while maintaining tight form. In other words, don’t grab the light 10lb dumbbells and expect to see any improvements to your pullups. You’ll need to grab some heavier weights. Don’t worry, you’re not going to get big and bulky.
Make the effort about pulling with your lats and mid-back, not using your hips to bring your chest to the bar. In other words, stop heaving. Keep your hips back and a little high as you use your legs to break the bar off the floor (a couple inches max), then while keeping your elbows in as if you’re performing a pushup, pull the bar somewhere between your belly button and bottom of your sternum. The pendlay row helps develop your lats, which are important for proper shoulder function, which means that pendlay rows also help you push more weight overhead.
Barbell Glute Bridge
As you slide the bar over your legs and drive it low on your hips (being careful to avoid your hip bones), tuck your butt under and flatten your spine out on the floor. Doing so shuts down the muscles of your lower back, forcing you to move the weight with your glutes as intended, giving you true hip extension and not just extending thru your lumbar spine (very bad). Our aim is to take your back out of the equation and help you learn how to get your glutes to do what they’re supposed to do. As you drive through your heels, keep pushing the bar low on your hips, and squeeze your butt. We don’t want your hamstrings doing the work here. Lastly, you may find you need to place one of our green foam pads or a rolled up t-shirt between you and the bar.