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Front Squat to Press

The Front Squat to Press is an excellent full body exercise that engages both the lower body and upper body muscles. The movement begins in a standing position, with a barbell grasped in the front rack position. The athlete then squats down, keeping the elbows up and the chest out, before standing up and driving the barbell overhead. As the barbell is pressed overhead, the athlete finishes the rep by controlling the barbell to its starting position. This exercise helps build functional full body strength

Transcript

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This is Brent coming at you with another
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integrated exercise, this is one of my
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personal favorites for jacking up that strength training. This is the front
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squat to press. Now, I should mention that I've already done a front squat video, so
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for those of you who are looking for more queue's, setting up a good
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foundation for your integrated exercise, I would go back and watch that video.
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Remember, before we do any integrated exercise, we should probably master the
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two exercises that we're combining. I'm going to have my friend Mike Tierney,
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from Metropolitan Fitness, come out and help me demonstrate this exercise. Just a
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couple form queues that you are already aware of, but we should probably
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review a little bit, we know our kinetic chain checkpoints in the anterior view,
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feet parallel, second toe pointing forward, as he drops down I'm going to be
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looking to see that his patella tracks over his second and third toe, and, of
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course, his hips knees and feet are in alignment. Usually people get this down
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pretty good. In a front squat to press variation, most of our discrepancies can
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actually be seen in a lateral view. So, I'm going to have you face me. A couple
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quick ones on the squat, go ahead and drop down into a squat and hold it for
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me, we want to make sure his tibia torso angle is parallel, and then you can
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already see how he has his head back. This is something that somehow got out
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there, this teaching queue of trying to keep people's chins up, it actually would be
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better for his spine for him to come down, and look about five feet out in
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front of his feet. This will keep his spine nice and stable, nice and straight,
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helping improve those scapula thoracic mechanics. As he comes back up, and presses,
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we want to make sure that, just like on any shoulder press, he doesn't go into an
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excessive lordosis, or an anterior pelvic tilt. Alright, so those are the queues we're
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looking out for. Tibia torso angle, keeping the head in a neutral position,
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and then that excessive lordosis. Alright, let's grab those dumbbells and kick this
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up a notch. So we've got to talk just a little bit about this
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cradling position, I see this messed up a lot in front squats, I want
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his forearms perpendicular, his wrists in a neutral position. I don't want to see
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that radial deviation, which I see often, or an ulnar deviation
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where it sags. This isn't a good position to have the wrist in. I want a
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nice neutral position, a nice strong position. I tell my clients, before
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we get the weights in, imagine somebody's going to come down, like you're going to
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hit somebody. Think of our field athletes, our football players, or
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basketball players who have to take hits. We want to teach them a nice, strong,
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cradled position. Best queue I've found for the squat portion, is I want him thinking
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elbows to knees. That doesn't mean he actually has to get down so far that his
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elbows touch his knees, I only want him to go down as far as he can keep optimal
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form, but he's going to be thinking elbows straight down to his knees, and
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then I want him to use the momentum from his legs to get those weights up over
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head. Hold for two, bring them down slow to your shoulder. Alright, you
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ready? -Yep. Let's hit it. Great. Let's see a couple more of those. Ready? Push, draw-in.
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That was a little too deep.
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He went a little too deep and his hips went into a posterior
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pelvic tilt, so I want you to stop about three inches before your knees. Ready?
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Glutes. Up. Draw-in. Back down. Good, let me go ahead and grab those from you.
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So, one thing I want to mention, while Mike takes a little
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breather here, we've actually done several takes, so Mike's getting a little
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tired. I don't personally enjoy the Olympic bar front squat to press. I'm not
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saying it's bad for my power lifters, I know you have to practice for your
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sport, you guys do you. But, if I'm just training somebody for fitness, or I'm
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training an athlete for sports performance, there is a problem with that
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bar, and the position you have to be in. This position here, forces hypermobility
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at the wrist. It also reinforces a common postural dysfunction that happens
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at the elbow that could set somebody up for carpal tunnel, for those
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epicondylitis we see like tennis elbow and golfers elbow. I would rather see
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somebody use a dumbbell, where they can keep a nice, neutral position.
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Unless somebody's doing powerlifting, why would we even need to worry about the
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bar. So think toward your goals, as far as where you're headed, and
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what apparatus you're going to use. Now, one thing we will show you, that works
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out really well, is kettlebells. Actually, they have a very nice feel to them. So Mike's
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going to grab those kettlebells and show you what that looks like. It
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makes it a little easier if you grab the inner part, like you're not
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balanced. You want to kind of grab up, in that inner corner of the kettlebell, and
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then it tends to cradle really nicely. Mike can actually bring his hands in a little
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bit, there you go. So his hands are going to be just inside his elbows. Alright,
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how does that feel? -Very comfortable. Kettlebells make this exercise very
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comfortable. So now let's go ahead and show them this. Front squat, and boom!
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Press. You can see Mike has really nice form, we've been working on those queues. So go
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down, elbows to knees, right before, glutes, draw-in, back down nice and slow. Alright.
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There're some of the teaching queues we can use. You can put that
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down for a second. Let's talk about some progressions. I can go in a couple of
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different directions. Obviously if I want to just increase Mike's strength, I can do
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that. I can just keep increasing weight. We can even move this from a
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hypertrophy general strength phase, where we're doing six to twelve reps, and get
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into those max strength weights once he's really got the form down, and do one
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to six reps, this could be our full body exercise. We can also go in a different
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direction. I like this exercise for some stability reasons. I can go unilateral. So
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if you guys think about our field athletes who take hits, basketball
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players, or football players, it's very rare that they get to hit straight on with
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even force on both arms. Let's get their core working towards a unilateral force.
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You are going to find that this is extremely challenging to get down, and
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keep that midline. So, I'm going to have you turn and face the camera, grab one
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kettlebell or dumbbell, whatever you're most comfortable with, and the
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whole time I'm going to be watching to make sure that he doesn't lean towards
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me, or lean away from me and kind of cradle the weight, I
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don't want any compensation. Can he keep this midline against an unbalanced force?
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Then the form stays the same, so let's see that.
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I know some of you are noticing that that right foot turns out.
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We've been working on that, but we didn't want to keep from making this video. Keep
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going, Mike. Great. You can see, in his core, Mike is keeping a wonderful
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centerline. This is a great progression for him. This is something great for him
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to work at. We could take this up another notch, I find that Airex pads make this
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particularly challenging. You could do, if we're in a stability
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progression, 12 reps on each side. I'd love to see a video of somebody trying to do
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kettlebell, front squat to press, 12 on each side, on Airex pads. That would be a
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wonderful goal to set your athletes up for some very big progressions later on.
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Of course, if we were going power, this exercise sets up wonderfully for
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some videos that you are going to see in the future, for our power press, or
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our power squat to press. If you're thinking about doing that in the future
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in your programs, this would be a wonderful way to set that up, a
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prerequisite exercise. The last thing I want to show you guys before we end this
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video is a regression for those working on their compensation patterns. The front
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squat to press is a wonderful exercise, because we can still do a ball wall
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squat, which allows us to reduce the need for dorsiflexion. So why don't you grab
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the kettlebells, those seem to be more comfortable for you. We could even do
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this unilateral, but I'm gonna have him do it bilaterally.
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He's going to lean back against the ball as much as he needs to reduce
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dorsiflexion, and then he's going to basically pretend like the balls not
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there. So he's going to try to get his butt back, and then push up and you
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can see, we could actually have him step out a little further,
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I can still see a little
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turn out, so I'll have him step out a little further, pretend the balls not
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there, and up and push. Good. Relax, Mike. So there you go, we've got progressions
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for stability with the unilateral and the Airex's pad, you can keep
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increasing the weight for strength, or if somebody's still compensating, you've got
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the ball to regress. I hope you guys enjoy this integrated strength exercise,