Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat | Bill Hannon Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat | Bill Hannon

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Thread: Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat | Bill Hannon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat | Bill Hannon

    • wichita falls texas march seminar date
    • woodmere new york april seminar date
    "If the lifter allows the upper back to flex, the bar position, the effective back segment length, and the moment arm between the bar and hips all essentially become variable, and the biomechanical equation of squatting becomes vastly harder to solve. A flexed upper back represents a loss of control over the interface with one of the two external inputs to the lifter, and this will have a huge impact on the quality and efficiency your squat."

    Read article

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018


    Thank you for this article, which addresses precisely my biggest problem with the squat.
    I particularly liked that it talks about possible drawbacks of the proud chest cue; it never worked for me, usually in the heat of action I misinterpret it, for example doing the dreaded leading with the chest.
    Two cues have worked for me better lately, and I wonder if anyone else has opinions on these or has used similar ones.
    First, I experimented with what sounds like an SS heresy: I simply told myself to have a more vertical back angle, to compensate for what seems like a way too horizontal one at the bottom due to upper back collapse. I only tell myself this at the bottom, since I think I start out with a decent SS back angle but then collapse. I even look up a little more at the bottom - but still at the ground. Mixed results and obvious hazards, but some improvement.
    The tight chest cue hasn't worked much either, but here's one I'm experimenting and may like more: because the hips are so important, but leading too much with the hips accentuates the upper back collapse for me, I tell myself "hips-chest" at the bottom almost as one command. The goal is to have the chest go up almost exactly in tandem with the hips, preventing collapse, ideally keeping things tight, but having hips first in the cue is supposed to prevent leading with the chest.
    Interested in any opinions from coaches or lifters how they may have dealt with this cue-wise or otherwise, though the article is enormously helpful.
    BTW, I'm significantly kyphotic (is that the word?) meaning rounded upper back which I suspect complicates things but I'm not sure how, so if anybody has experience with that it's be great to hear. My main problem is the mentioned collapse, visibly falling forward a bit on at least one rep per set, and always coming off my heels, even if only slightly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2019


    67 year old novice to actual training, to SS and to LP but over 50 years of exercising and basically fu*#ing around in the weight room. I never called it that but Rip frequently describes my gym history.
    There was a time when an elite powerlifter, Walter Thomas, worked out at the same gym but I was too young and stupid to pay attention to how that amazing man actually TRAINED.

    This article was very helpful for me, in fact it was a revelation that had an immediate impact on my squat.
    Thank you to Bill Hannon and to stef for posting.


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