Tag Archives: powerlifting

Squats, squats and more squats

Squats are most definitely one of the best exercises you can do. Not only do they increase your heart rate thus helping to burn fat but they give you a really good bum! 

  
Far too many times I see people not doing squats properly, now I don’t claim to be the queen of squats and sometimes I’ve heard the ‘no rep’ from my coach but It is important to squat properly, to reap the benefits and to avoid injury.

  

I used to squat when I went to the gym by myself but never really knew how to complete a squat properly. You might think oh a squats easy, anyone can do it but you’d be wrong there can be lots of factors that prevent people from being able to squat.

After I started crossfit, I began to follow a programme with my partner Josh and soon saw my squat numbers increase by quite a margin. After all a good squat is crucial in so many crossfit movements from wall balls, olympic lifts to thrusters and even box jumps. If you know how to move well through a squat movement then you have a good base.

  I followed the Smolov program whilst training with my other half and my 1rm went from 100kg to 115kg which I was super happy with. If you want a link to Smolov have a look here, you work out your percentages and then go from there it’s a great programme that can help to increase your numbers. I followed the junior program.

Smolov
Ok so tips for a good squat. First you need to begin with a basic air squat.

Feet on the floor standing straight. Then push your bum backwards and squat down, you need to make sure your knees track in alignment with your toes and that your hips break parallel. If you struggle with the latter then try working on your ankle range and if you really find it tricky try squatting onto a bench or med ball first to develop better range. The ought the movement keep your weight on your heels and your back straight, try to engage your core. 

  
If you have a good air squat then build this up until your confident to move with a bar. Now I go for a high bar hold meaning I balance the bar quite high up on my back but this is just what feels comfortable for me you may prefer to have the bar resting lower.

Then complete your squat the same as you did with the air squat. Keep your core tight and knee tracking over your toes. You don’t want to see this at the bottom of your squat  

 
Here my left knee in particular is not where it should be!

Make sure you increase the weight only when you are comfortable with what you are doing. I rarely attempt 1rm but spend a lot of time working around 65-85% of my max. 

If you can squat and keep your heels flat on the floor then great, if you think you may need some help then invest in some lifting shoes but remember they don’t do all the work for you! 

Points to remember 

  • Knees tracking over toes
  • Feet shoulder width apart or wider if you prefer a ️Powerlifting stance
  • Engage your core
  • Tight back, engage your upper back
  • Weight on heels
  • Hips below parallel 



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Team work 

Last weekend I competed with 5 other members from my Crossfit gym, Crossfit Bournemouth at The Super Team Cup in London. 

  
There were 100 teams competing and they could literally be ‘super teams’ where members didn’t have to come from the same box. 

The first work out was a 3km ski erg between 4 of us and it was horrible and our worst finish! We then had another 5 workouts and after each workout we climbed higher up the leaderboard. The competition continued to Sunday which saw handstand push ups, 4 x 200m sprint and a big final. 

Yes we made the final top 20 so had 1 more workout! Between 4 of us we had to do Fran, Grace, Elizabeth & Amanda as the ‘weightlifter’ I was given Grace! 42.5kg clean & jerk x 30 reps which I managed to do in 2mins 30 and absolutely loved it! Our team smashed it and came 16th in the final, meaning we finished in 19th! 

An amazing weekend and I would highly recommend doing team event in the future, it was so exciting and so nice to have your team mates with you supporting and cheering you on. 

  
Thanks to our amazing sponsors Elite Gear who kitted us out and cheered in every workout. If you need any crossgit supplies then check them out! 

Elite Gear


Lifting Shoes… Which ones? 

Now I took a while to convert to lifting shoes. Luckily for me I have good mobility and range of movement and so before lifters I used to squat bare foot and just wore Nanos to lift. 
I thought lifters were just another crossfit fad but now I’m definitely a concert. Ok so putting on lifting shoes doesn’t guarantee an added 5kg to each lift (that would be nice) but they do provide a stable base. In addition they also give that slightly raised heel which for people who find squatting tricky can really help. 
I bought some Adidas lifters as I’d heard good things and as I was trying them, these were relatively cheap. I got the power lifter 2.0 and at £70 these were cheap! 
  
Adidas Powerlifter 2.0
Like any new shoe, they took a while to get used to. I felt like I was leaning forwards and had to get used to sitting back on my heels but I felt more solid and as such had added confidence when lifting. Both in my powerlifts and in my olympic lifts. 

Adidas also have the slightly more expensive Adi Power shoe at £147.99 which has a higher heel so is more suitable for those with a smaller range of movement naturally. 
  
AdiPower
Last weekend I was lucky enough to win some Inov8 shoes of my choice from the lovely guys at Elite Gear. Check out their site http://www.elite-gear.co.uk

I chose the Inov8 fast lift 335 which retail for £97 and of course I went for their pink & purple combo! I was hesitant to try these as once I get used to something I’m reluctant to change but I must say I really like these shoes. They have a thinner sole than the Adidas lifters but feel more solid, the sole is also harder and so provides more stability. They also do a great range of colours and if you want to upgrade to the Inov8 370 BOA these come in all pink! 

  
  Inov8

A shoe I have always wanted but haven’t got yet is the Nike Romaleo! These shoes are so beautiful and just look awesome, they’re pricey at £169.99 but I’ve heard brilliant things about them. 

 

Having tried a friends to lift in they are so secure, the double strapping doesn’t allow for any slipping of the shoe. With the Romaleo 2s Nike have made them more flexible and lighter so they are more suited to crossfit athletes. These did feel heavier than my other lifters to wear but we’re sturdy and made my squat feel easier which is what we all want. They also come in a range of great colours! 

Nike Romaleo
Reebok also have their own lifters, I hadn’t heard great things which is why I didn’t purchase any. However they are cheaper, even so if I was going to recommend any shoe for a beginner who isn’t sure id say go for the Adidas Powerlifter 2.0 to begin with. 

Happy Lifting!