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Maximize Your Squat with “The Three P’s”

Maximize Your Squat with “The Three P’s”

Having a tight upper back is crucial for maintaining good posture in the squat and moving big weights. Here’s a simple, easy to remember method for setting your upper back for a tighter, more efficient squat.

“The Three P’s”

Pinch your shoulder blades together. Before your get under the bar, retract your shoulder blades and keep them tightly pinched together. Grip the bar and get under it, placing it on the shelf on your upper back.

Pull your triceps and elbows into your lats. Keep a proud chest and squeeze your lats and upper back tight like you are holding the top of a pull up. Use a grip that allows for optimal upper back tightness with no shoulder irritation. 

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Flat vs. Round Back Deadlift


The flat back deadlift is the standard technique most people use, or strive to. By pulling your lats back, taking the slack out of the bar and making a proud chest, you’re able to maintain a nice straight back position.

The lats back (flat back) position is difficult to maintain with heavy weight.

The round back deadlift is great for more advanced lifters wanting to move really heavy weight.

Start with your upper back rounded and keep a neutral low back position.

With the round back deadlift you start with your shoulders down and lats in the front pocket — a much easier position to maintain and allows you to shorten the ROM.

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Stronger in 60 Seconds: Upgrade Your Lunge

Lunges and other single-leg variations are great for improving size, strength and overall athletic performance.

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To increase glute and hamstring activation, lunge with a forward torso lean. It’s easy to maintain a straight back position and puts more focus on your glutes and hamstrings.

For more focus on your quads, keep an upright torso.

Shorter strides for more quad emphasis, or longer strides for more hamstrings/glutes.

Avoid hyperextending your lower back to achieve an upright torso.

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