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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:41 am 
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Not my first time, but these kids are completely fresh. A new family has moved here, and they have 2 boys, Z age 15 and C, 13. They are both tall thin kids. The 13yr old is especially slight.

The first session I started body-weight squats. Both did well. Z naturally went a bit below parallel, kept a good neutral l-spine. C tended to go all the way down to the floor, but went up on his toes, would round in the hole. With some coaching he kept it a bit more shallow, but still kept a good spine, and stayed on his heels. Then we did bench, cause all teenage boys want to bench. First session I worked with position on the bench, grip and finding grip width, touch point and lock-out point. C had trouble handling the 45-pound bar, so I used the 15-kg. I told them to just practice with the empty bars when they worked on their own.

Second session we added bench cues for tight shoulder blades, grip hard, pull the bar apart, and added a little weight, up to 75 lb for Z, 42 lb for C. Then we started on deadlift. It went very well with Z, followed cues well, got good position, good neutral lumbar spine. C was a far different story. From the beginning he had a big round l-spine. I worked at getting him set up neutral, but couldn't seem to do it. I tried moving the bar up a bit. Tried once raising the heels a little, but that didn't help. Time ran out, and I had to leave it. His family is going away for 2 weeks of language training, so I have a couple of weeks to think about it. I think I should just keep moving the bar up until he can set up with a neutral spine, then work our way back down. I've also seen people who actually corrected their form when they had some weight on the bar, so I'll see what happens with that.

Thought? Suggestions?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:41 am 
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Heels coming off, lumbar spine rounding. Could be around ankle and hip mobility. Something is pulling the heel up/moving the point of balance, and something is pulling the hips to a posterior pelvic tilt/tucking.

Try rack pulls. If he can squat with a lumbar spine, then he should be able to DL too. Take a broomstick or similar and put it across his back. It should contact on the hip/arse, between the scapulae, and neck. Maybe that will help him to feel the posture he should be in. Rack pulls allow you to only work on depth that has a good spinal posture. Work down from there.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Just have them do goblet squats. If they do those enough they'll learn to squat just fine. I reckon you're starting them off too advanced. Leave barbell squatting til they've a bit more experience.

I'd personally probably not bother with the deadlift either (sacrilege!). I mean, when you think about it, do they want to be dicking around doing mobility drills, hip stretches and soft tissue work or whatever to learn proper deadlift form or do they want to be lifting weights and having fun? Trying to fix someone's deadlift form takes time and I think the best thing to do is just get them lifting stuff.

Loads of push ups, loads of pull-ups, goblet squats, rows, some overhead pressing and a bit of benching (not too much benching). Nothing too complicated and they'll see improvements pretty quickly.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Don't you have enough to do as it is Andy?

Man, you sorta inspire me, if I were the inspirable type.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:43 am 
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robertscott wrote:
Just have them do goblet squats. If they do those enough they'll learn to squat just fine. I reckon you're starting them off too advanced. Leave barbell squatting til they've a bit more experience.

I'd personally probably not bother with the deadlift either (sacrilege!). I mean, when you think about it, do they want to be dicking around doing mobility drills, hip stretches and soft tissue work or whatever to learn proper deadlift form or do they want to be lifting weights and having fun? Trying to fix someone's deadlift form takes time and I think the best thing to do is just get them lifting stuff.

Contradictory. You want to fix their squat, but don't give a rats behind about the deadlift. I wonder which move has more transfer to real life (BOTH).

It's not about exercise form. These are young lads. If they have issues squatting and pulling, that's a very bad thing. Why? It will show in everything they do, from running to jumping, walking, other sports, and even in some everyday activities like lifting things (duh). If they have problems now, and no-ones addressing them, they'll wound up like sadly many people do; beat up, sore and incapable of many fun sports and activities. Kinda like you (Kidding).

One exercise two-three times a week on the beginning of the workout wont spoil the fun. Even if you dump the deadlift, you should address these issues. Faulty muscular firing, dysfunction, stiffness (or shortness) and poor stability should be corrected.

There might be issues in the hip and lumbar spine area. I'd atleast recommend to do some glute activation and hip flexion exercises, and maybe soft tissue work all over the place. (PC and AC, TFL, lumbar spine).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:58 am 
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Yeah, thanks. The problem is just on DL, not on squat, and I'm not starting them too advanced on squat--I have only had them do body weight squats. Goblets will be next. Z will DL just fine, only C has issues with it. I'll just keep bringing the bar up until I find where he can keep good spine position.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:13 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Yeah, thanks. The problem is just on DL, not on squat, and I'm not starting them too advanced on squat--I have only had them do body weight squats. Goblets will be next. Z will DL just fine, only C has issues with it. I'll just keep bringing the bar up until I find where he can keep good spine position.


just get the other kid to pull sumo with really low hips, that'll probably keep him upright. A good cue for it I heard is take a big wide stance then "drop your nut sack on the bar" but you might not want to say it exactly like that.

I misread your post re: squatting, I thought you were having them barbell squat from the beginning. My mistake, I should've known you're far too sensible for that!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:15 am 
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Dub wrote:
robertscott wrote:
Just have them do goblet squats. If they do those enough they'll learn to squat just fine. I reckon you're starting them off too advanced. Leave barbell squatting til they've a bit more experience.

I'd personally probably not bother with the deadlift either (sacrilege!). I mean, when you think about it, do they want to be dicking around doing mobility drills, hip stretches and soft tissue work or whatever to learn proper deadlift form or do they want to be lifting weights and having fun? Trying to fix someone's deadlift form takes time and I think the best thing to do is just get them lifting stuff.

Contradictory. You want to fix their squat, but don't give a rats behind about the deadlift. I wonder which move has more transfer to real life (BOTH).

It's not about exercise form. These are young lads. If they have issues squatting and pulling, that's a very bad thing. Why? It will show in everything they do, from running to jumping, walking, other sports, and even in some everyday activities like lifting things (duh). If they have problems now, and no-ones addressing them, they'll wound up like sadly many people do; beat up, sore and incapable of many fun sports and activities. Kinda like you (Kidding).

One exercise two-three times a week on the beginning of the workout wont spoil the fun. Even if you dump the deadlift, you should address these issues. Faulty muscular firing, dysfunction, stiffness (or shortness) and poor stability should be corrected.

There might be issues in the hip and lumbar spine area. I'd atleast recommend to do some glute activation and hip flexion exercises, and maybe soft tissue work all over the place. (PC and AC, TFL, lumbar spine).


meh, I stand by my original advice. I reckon getting them good at goblet squats will pretty much fix all those other issues

edit: although I would obviously have them do some kind of dynamic warm up to address flexibility stuff before training. That's just common sense really.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:25 am 
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I find it hard to believe that C has mobility issues. One because he's 13, and two, because of your location - I don't imagine he's spent the majority of his time playing X-box.

It sounds like he has motor control issues, or a stability issue, or both - they both go hand in hand to a large extent but, when it's more motor control than stability, then the right coaching cue for that person will fix it like magic.

If it's more stability, then working on everything else should provide the stability needed, as well as better motor control and body awareness to pull off a good deadlift.

I tend to start people on goblet squats just because they make life easier both for the coach and the lifter. Despite my long posts, I like simple. Clients like simple, too.

If I have someone who's very quad dominant and I can have them train goblet squats but they're not ready to deadlift, I just give them hip hinge drills in the warm up and often as fillers between sets. I would bet this is the issue with C - he can't hip hinge.

You may find he doesn't get things like "hips back", too, and he needs some external things to think about. A dowel hip hinge is a good drill, holding a dowel against your spine, with contact on the hips, upper back, and head. You grip it with one hand at the lower back and one hand at the neck. Then just tell them to bend forward maintaining those 3 points of contact. Most will figure this is out after a few reps. Another is standing wit back to the wall a few inches from it, tell them to touch the wall with the hips, then move them further away, and repeat. This is a great way to teach "hips back".

Also, for me, RDL is to the deadlift what goblet squats are to back squats. If you can RDL, then deadlifting is so much easier. I find it much easier to teach the RDL from scratch than teaching the deadlift from scratch. Both can be done but, again, we like Simple.

So teaching RDL first is like a top down approach to the deadlift. You have them stand there with an empty bar and you can quite easily show them the top position - glutes tight, chin tucked, chest out, etc. Then, I say, "imagine there's an invisible door behind you, now think about closing the door with your hips". This form cue works great. I tend to have someone RDL until they hit 135lbs/60KG, then we move onto deadlift. At which point I get them to stand up close to the bar and, "RDL yourself down to the bar"...

With all that being said, I train adults and would imagine that training kids provides it's own unique set of challenges. I would prioritise keeping it interesting/fun, and wouldn't get too hung up on the deadlift thing just now.

KPj

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:48 am 
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Thanks, Kenny. That's all good. They are away for almost 2 weeks, so we'll start up again when they get back. I'll continue with BW squats and move into goblets, and work on hip hinges.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:29 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
meh, I stand by my original advice. I reckon getting them good at goblet squats will pretty much fix all those other issues


For what it's worth, I start all of my trainees out with goblet box squats to the lowest box they can reach without tucking their hips or curving their spine. I quickly add sumo kettlebell deadlifts or sumo dumbbell deadlifts, just to get them used to pulling from the floor.

I graduate many of them to trap bar deadlifts once they get good at these (older trainees and women don't like that whole "scrape the shins with the bar" thing from barbell deadlifts) and some kind of weighted squat. I have a lot of injured/post rehab clients who are (quite rightly) forbidden direct spinal loading, so I usually stay at goblet box squats or move them to free squatting if they can do it.

Now I know this is contrary to a lot of training advice, and Mark Rippetoe would probably tear me a new one. But it works, and I can graduate the ones who can spinal load safely and keep the injured folks doing stuff that won't risk re-injury.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Thanks. The boys are back from their village experience, and a mountain ascent, so we should be able to get back into things soon.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:46 pm 
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I do the same thing Peter does. I start with goblet squats. They actually tend to pick up those quicker than bodyweight squats. the counter balance will force them into a proper position. We then progress them with hip hinge's and into a trap bar deadlift. Also, realize that most of the kids I work with at that age are athletes, so I generally don't have the time to progess them into barbell deadlifts. For my adults, we'll usually have them perform rack pulls at progressively lower heights to eventually get into pulling from the floor. We will also use sumo variations during that time.

FWIW I also believe that most 13 year olds have motor control, stability, and spacial awareness problems. Not mobility problems.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:55 am 
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Just from personal experience I'm one of the people you mentioned re: getting into correct position with a loaded bar! When I started and restarted lifting I couldn't get my tail down into a good DL position and had to kind of drag myself into position and eventually I learned the cues I needed to "tell" myself to get into position before I grabbed the bar! BUT I wasn't 13!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:25 am 
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Well, it's all moot now. The boys seem to have lost interest quickly. Sigh.

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