The big focus of the day was on squats, especially dialing in technique. Class worked through one round of pause-squats (pausing at the bottom) as a group before moving on to a rotating warm-up of pause-squats and push-ups. A noted new addition to the squat repertoire were squats with the front of everyone’s feet hanging off the edge of a curb(now dubbed “curb squats”). This was to force everyone to center the weight back into the middle of the foot – often cued as “from the heels.” This centers a lifters weight, as opposed to raising up on the toes which pitches the body forward, and thereby helps the lifter recruit the maximum power available from the glutes and quads.
After a few rounds of the warm-up cycle, class moved on to pistols. The basketball court at Mitchel park doubles as volleyball court, and the two posts in the middle of the court served as excellent assistance for those still working with balance and range of motion issues when it comes to pistols. Jim Bathurst (pictured above) has a really good article he wrote a while back entitled the ONE LEGGED SQUAT (THE PISTOL), which includes a number of alternate scaling options. Check it out and then report back in the comments section as to thoughts.
Of course, this was all skill work, and class was in need of some good ole’ fashioned body weight strength training. The result was a 300m uphill lunge, done on S. St. from Mass. Ave. all the way to the stairs into Mitchell Park at the top of the hill.
To finish the day off, everyone worked through three sets of Paloff presses (the bands having been attached the previously used volleyball poles) and upright band-resisted crunches. And since we were in a squatting mood and coming up with new squat variations, howabout a few Fireman’s squats with a partner:
Great work by everyone who came out and joined us in the cold. Tom made a side comment on Sunday, pointing out that we’ve been forced outside every year for at least 5 years running, and each time we were lucky enough to have some great weather, albeit a little bit warmer in the past. Tuesday will be back in doors, just about the time the weather starts to warm up around here.
And congrats to MacKenzie for surviving her first ever marathon!