We often have athletes ask us about the merits of yoga. Today’s post is not intended to argue about yoga, that has already been addressed (see Sparta Point). Instead, today’s post will introduce you to a great movement we are doing at Sparta: the Clean Grip Overhead Squat. Or, as it has become affectionately known, “Barbell Yoga”.
Functional flexibility is best developed by training strength at extreme ranges of motion (see Sparta Point).
The flexibility we are talking about is not really about touching your toes, it is about being able to produce GRF for longer periods of DRIVE (see Sparta Point). This is the type of flexibility that results in deep flexion and extension during movement, increased power, and improved performance. In fact, extreme flexibility is dangerous unless you have the strength at those extreme ranges of motion to produce force and maintain good body positions.
We use a number of tools for improving mobility at Sparta, including myofascial release, trigger point therapy, distraction based joint mobilizations, and mobility warm-ups. But, when it comes to improving an athletes DRIVE, the clean grip overhead squat is one of the best because it provides an awesome combination of strength and flexibility.
- Good foot position (not too externally rotated)
- Slow descent
- Pause at the bottom and reinforce body position (knees out and chest up)