BEND THE RULES OF LIFTING
It’s time to bend the rules on conventional lifting technique. THE KB DEEP SQUAT WITH JEFFERSON CURL will iron out back pain, fix deskbound mobility problems and prime your muscles for the bigger lifts
How the best mobility move you’ve never heard of will help you unfurl new gym PBS
You can stop wincing at the sight of that curved spinal position. This exercise forgoes traditional lifting cues such as, ‘keep your back flat’ and ‘squat to 90 degrees’. In the face of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the time has come for unconventional action. Conducted with purposefully light weights to make these positions safe, this move will unlock tight hips flexors and hamstrings, switch on neglected glutes and strengthen your posterior chain. In other words, everything you need to fix lower back pain – a problem that affects 2.5 million people in the UK on a daily basis. And the benefits don’t seize up there. “By increasing your range of movement around the posterior chain, it will boost your joint range and maximise your weightlifting potential,” says PT Ollie Frost of London’s Reach Fitness.
Perform this exercise before tackling your big lifts and you’ll also fire up the crucial mind-to-muscle connection, for greater strength improvements without the need for extra reps. Frost recommends setting aside time at the start of your workout to complete this move three times a week. Within 21 days you’ll reap the rewards of stronger hamstrings and greater posterior chain mobility. That means more weight on the bar come deadlift day. And no longer getting out of a chair like your grandad.
THE BEST EXERCISE YOU’RE NOT DOING
03 INTO THE FOLD When the kettlebell is as low as it will go, lift your hips back up, tuck your chin and lock your legs out. Breathe in this position for as long as you can manage. 02 LOWEST OF THE LOW Sink into a deep squat, pressing your knees out wide with your elbows tucked between them. Retract your shoulder blades to ensure your back is flat.
04 HOME STRAIGHT Now uncurl your spine one vertebrae at a time from the lower back. Finish by untucking your chin and extending your neck. Feels better, doesn’t it?
01 BOXING CLEVER Find a plyometric box or platform that’s just below knee height and stand on it with your feet at shoulder-width. Hold a light kettlebell between your legs.