Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Better Squatting with Adductor Rocking

By Andrew McGunagle
I live and train people in Palo Alto, California, and most all of my clients are busy desk-bound professionals working in tech or business. This sedentary and often stressful lifestyle leads to brutal restrictions in the hips and shoulders, and I’ve got to get my people moving better quickly so we have enough time to train hard and get results.
Over the past 6 months, I’ve become a believer in the Original Strength school of thought, which stresses the importance and use of “primitive patterns” such as rolling, rocking, and crawling to improve movement capacity. While doing things in the gym that babies do seems silly, the results I’ve witnessed have been undeniable.
One of the variations of rocking I’ve been using with my clients quite frequently is the split stance adductor mobilization. This drill has been around for a while, but a few tweaks have made this drill more effective and more valuable in my eyes. Here’s an example:
A few points of emphasis to maximize the effect of this mobilization (some of which are not perfectly demonstrated in the video):
  • Keep the outside foot flat and the toes pointed straight ahead.
  • Keep your outside leg locked in one straight line.
  • Maintain a flat/neutral spine position, but do lift your head up and look straight ahead.
  • Keep your arms straight, your palms flat, and your fingers pointed straight ahead and spread wide.
  • Smoothly rock forward over your hands and back into your hips without allowing your back position to change (don’t tuck your tail).
  • Alternate between a flat foot position and a foot up position for the foot of the bent leg. When the foot is flat, make sure it's pointed straight back. The foot up position should get a bit of stretch in the toes.
  • Stay within the range of motion where you can maintain perfect position, and strive to improve that range over time.
Do a few rounds of 6+ reps each side during your warm-up or as you’re working your way up on your main lifts, and you’ll definitely notice a decrease in the tension of the adductor complex (the inside of your leg), which often translates to better movement capacity and movement quality in your big lower body lifts. Hope this helps!

Thanks for reading!

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