Welcome to the California Strength Forum
First of all, congratulations for being an inspiration to everyone who loves strength training. I have learnt a lot from your videos which are truly inspirational.
Even though I have been training for a few years, about 6 months ago, I decided to start squatting the olympic way. Following that decision, I recently changed my deadlift form as well, emphasizing a lower back arch. As a results, I have recently been doing clean pulls quite often.
It took my a way to reach an 'acceptable' technique on both lifts, but I am still struggling to keep my back fully arched and I was wondering if you had any tips. I have always had really tight pecs so I recently started doing band pull aparts. I quickly noticed an improvement on my ability to contract my upper back during my lifts, therefore it is something I will certainly do more often.
I am also really tight on my upper thighs, glutes and calves, and this is where I am a bit lost. I have been doing the squat stretch and other stretches, but I am not sure it is helping a lot. I think it was Donny who mentioned in a topic around here that stretching is just a trick and I totally agree. What movements/exercises do you think I should do?
Here are two videos I recorded recently. You can see me squating half way in my second video.
first video - your butt is rising too soon and too fast. keep the butt down and keep the load lighter. it looks too heavy. lift with your legs. your butt is rising too soon, looking more like a stiff legged deadlift than a clean pull. start with the hips lower and chest up. sweep the bar in with your lats as you pull and keep the chest up and butt down. also you dont want to purposely come up onto the calves (plantarflex) it should be the end result of extending the hips and legs. also the second pull should be fast, as soon as the bar hits mid thigh, think speed. The best thing to do is find a coach. its worth it. also, do yoga for flexibility it works wonders. foam roll like its your job.
2nd video- press looks good. the bar should be resting on the front delts/clavicles so the weight is not resting in the wrist and hands. squat looks good, depth will improve with time and practice. keep the torso upright, shove the knees out and over the toes
Thanks for the reply Josh!
I will reduce the weight and record a few more videos today. How do you assess what your stance and grip width should be? I struggle with that as I am able to stay more upright with a wider stance but I am stronger with a closer stance. Also, should the shoulders and the hips rise at the same time?
About the press, should its starting position be the same as the front squat then?