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Thread: Coaching the in flexible

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default Coaching the in flexible

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    Hello
    I am trying to help and "coach" a friend through SSLP, but we seem to keep hitting roadblocks related to anthropometry. We tried starting with the Low Bar squat, but my friend has extremely inflexible shoulders and pecs, to the point where getting the bar low on his back was painful and nearly impossible. His natural comfort/tendency is to hold the bar wide, pretty much out to the sleeve collars. He is 5"9 or 5"10, 275lbs.

    I've told him to stretch and work on getting everything loosened up, we've tried some of the tips that SS and Barbell Logic have put in videos/articles, as well as door stretches, band pull aparts, and elevated push ups (hands on chairs) with holds at the bottom. To continue, we moved to a high bar squat, but even then he had trouble getting a decent grip on the bar and started to complain of elbow pain regardless of hand position, he has a hard time getting his wrists to straighten out with the bar behind him, and if he brings his hands in too close the bar comes off his back and becomes more supported in his hands than on his back.

    A front rack position is even more difficult to attain, he can't get his elbows up, and in a natural press position the bar is sitting almost in front of his mouth. When deadlifting with as narrow a grip and stance as possible, the bar comes up to the bottom of his belly - I'm thinking he maybe just has freakishly short arms...

    Has anyone ever encountered anything similar? I'm not a coach (though may like to be some day when I grow up). Should we keep trying high bar and stretch until low bar is possible (if possible), would you recommend moving to an SSB?

    Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
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    1,698

    Default

    Hi, Optimus. Using a high bar squat for extreme flexibility problems and/or for shoulder injuries/deformities has been discussed a whole lot on the forum, workarounds given in the books, and so forth. Start reading: quick search results

    We might be able to help with his specific case if you post video that shows what is going on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default

    Thank you so much. I'll ask if I can take a video to upload.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Hey Optimus
    Make sure you read the stickies and go through the verification process to be able to post form checks here.
    Thanks.
    Currently based in Orlando, FL
    Training Camps, Seminars, and Competitions

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Yes, I will work on getting verified.
    Still learning how to read...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Colorado
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    I had the same problem. The pain was unbearable and some points. For me my will was stronger than the pain. I now do lowbar squats with little to no pain. My first warmup set is a little tight, then I am fine. I am even now able to bring my hands in tight.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2019
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    Were there any specific drills or stretches that helped? I keep hearing a lot of complaints about the "headache in the elbow" and a lot of discomfort in the upper pec areas.
    I'm still going to try and post a video as soon as I can.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    "Headache in the elbow" is in the book.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Prine View Post
    Were there any specific drills or stretches that helped? I keep hearing a lot of complaints about the "headache in the elbow" and a lot of discomfort in the upper pec areas.
    I'm still going to try and post a video as soon as I can.
    I have a long raton stick I would use on days I wasn't squatting. What helped mostly was time under the bar. Just don't give up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    7

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    starting strength nutrition camp
    When I first started, my thumbs would go numb for a few days after I squatted. It got better.

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