Hitting the wall … retraining the squat and improving movement patterns

Hitting the wall … retraining the squat and improving movement patterns

Ulrike had reached a plateau in her training and was picking up niggles caused by poor movement patterns and biomechanical issues.
Here is Ulrike’s account of how we solved the problem we will follow this with a case study on Ulrike by one of our senior coaches Matt Reid (B.sc Physiotherapy)
Hitting the wall – in the words of Ulrike Schoening

Hitting the wall

Hitting the wall

Anyone who does weight lifting is probably familiar with this scenario: When you first start getting into weight lifting you can see great progress after 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. You continuously improve your lifts and you feel stronger all the time.
Then all of a sudden you hit a wall. After an uphill journey of continuous improvement in my first year at Joe’s (have a read of Ulrikes first blog post for us “The Good, The Bad and The Bruises”) I have come to a halt.
When Joe introduced the precision classes, I asked Matt Reid, if he could

Apparently I have stiff ankles.

Apparently I have stiff ankles.

specifically design a program for me to help me work on my squat. I do have a pretty weak core, my knees are all over the place and apparently I also have stiff ankles (well this was news to me). The program Matt R. put together included core exercises as well as high rep squat patterns. None of these were performed with a big load if any at all!
shit done
We worked a lot on my posture during these movements and both Matts made amendments to my program as they watched me perform. These amendments were very specific to me and my personal issues and I do love that both Matts are so competent in recognising individual needs.
We dropped most of the weight and focussed on slow and deep movements. If you usually train in Joe’s regular classes, this definitely is a change of pace- going from loaded high intensity movements to slow and high rep.
I worked my first program once a week sometimes twice for about 6 weeks in total. It was at times boring and a drag doing. So many reps and so many sets. BUT I stuck with it, after all it was only once a week. I got shit done. I am now 2 weeks into my second program where we are slowly introducing a bit of load.
I can tell you I can feel the improvements. I have a deeper and stronger squat, I can feel my core muscles working and my knees are finally in the right spot.
Now saying and feeling this is one thing, but it had to be tested.
My previous BS 1RM was 72.5kg and Front Squat 65kg. Today for the first time in a year and a half I have finally got a squatnew PB on both movements. I was able to strongly and competently back squat 79kg and front squat 67kg. Not only did I got up in load, but I can also tell that my movements were a lot more stable.
I think we have this idea that we have to lift a lot to lift more, but really we should work more on how we move and not how much load we move. It just works itself out. I think it’s amazing that we have access to programmed precision classes to help us develop ourselves.
I am very excited to work on my new program and continue this journey of moving to improve with the precision-classes. 
Thanks to the Matts for all their great work!

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