Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Nera Safety Squat aka HELLRAISERS

  (First off, I would like to say that this is specific to raw olympic stance squatters, although it will help wide stance as well.  I definitely do not recommend this to equipped lifters with their astronomical weights.)

A problem which many people encounter when trying to squat heavy, especially to proper depth, is maintaining their back position.  'Back position' to some may simply mean keeping your back straight(lordotic or close to) and/or to others, maintaining a specific torso angle with relation to the floor or what not( ie chest up).  Regardless of the definition, everyone will agree that maintaining back position is of the upmost importance in the squat. 
 An exercise which many people turn to to strengthen their back for the purpose of improving their back squat is THE GOOD MORNING.  The good morning exercise has many benefits but is highly overrated for helping the back squat(there are benefits for the deadlift but it is far down the line in my books as far as squatting is concerned).

The good morning is an exercise that when performed properly looks a lot like a squat gone bad.  It is a movement that strengthens the muscles in such a way as to get back into position when squat technique fails.  THE GOOD MORNING IS A GREAT EXERCISE IF YOU PLAN ON SQUATTING WITH BAD TECHNIQUE ALL THE TIME.

In the video below as you can see it looks like someone falling in and out of bad position in the squat. ( i do not know the guys in the video, they may be equipped lifters or doing goodmornings for another purpose, I just chose the video at random)

Why not focus on squatting properly?  Building STATIC strength in the back on the decent, forcing one to stay upright, tall and with a big chest while pushing them onto their toes which they are fighting against, and then they have to focus it all on the accent as well.

DOES IT NOT MAKE MORE SENSE TO GET STRONGER AT STAYING IN POSITION THAN TO GET STRONGER AT GETTING BACK INTO POSITION ...BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO WEAK TO STAY IN POSITION IN THE FIRST PLACE??.....  sounds kind of like a kid who spends hours trying to figure out how he could cheat on an exam when he could spend that time studying and probably actually end up doing better than if he cheated...and a lot less consequences...ie the kid gets caught, expelled=hurt your back (good/bad analogy you judge,you get the point).


It is called that because yes, you guessed it, it's like raising hell.  It is not fun and you will rarely ever look forward to doing a heavy set.  It's simply an ANTI-SAFETY SQUAT

SAFETY SQUAT BY DEFINITION:http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drsquat10.htm
"Now here is a GREAT way to do squats right! The specially designed bar makes it easier to get deep enough into the squat position, easier to keep your back straight, and with far less danger of injuring your lower back or knees.
Safety squats are also more comfortable because of the padded yolk that's resting on your shoulders. This special bar is called a "safety squat bar," although it has become widely referred to as the "Hatfield Bar" because of my longstanding endorsement of its benefits. It allows you to use your hands to both hold yourself in a perfect, upright squatting position as well as "spot" yourself if the weight becomes too heavy."

I AM TELLING YOU TO NOT USE YOUR HANDS...thus it is HARDER to get deep, harder to keep your back straight and more dangerous...you cannot hold yourself in an upright squat position and you cannot spot yourself.....you HAVE TO RELY ON TECHNICAL DECENT AND ACCENT...AND HAVE A STRONG BACK!!

Not everyone can do hellraisers.  The Hellraiser's effectiveness is based on one thing.  That when you don't use your hands(because most people doing safety squats push up at the handles) the handles push your chest down and the bar pushes your head forward along with your weight distribution onto your toes.  SO IF YOUR SAFETY SQUAT BAR DOESN'T PUSH YOUR HEAD FORWARD AND YOUR CHEST DOWN WHEN YOU ARE SIMPLY STANDING...IT IS TOO EASY A BAR for this exercise.  I cannot stand relaxed with my bar loaded any weight over 2 plates.  I have to consciously hold my chest up.  Once I get to 4 plates it is very labourous and I have to talk myself into doing the sets....and I squat over 700 lbs with no wraps.  But at 500 pounds on the safety squat bar...the safety squat doesn't feel so safe.

I am not 100% sure, but I beleive that the bar I use is from ELITEFTS.  All that really matters is that it pushes your head forward as if you got stuck in prison with a big strong nightmare of a cell mate ...if you know what I mean.

A good way to check the bar is to check whether or not the handles go straight down when the bar is racked and that the articulation in the bar is at the same angle as the handles.  The longer the bar is at the bend, (the further the distance between the part of the bar on your back and the part of the bar holding the plates are from each other), the more it will push you forward.

When you watch the video, note how the handles push down and desperately want to point to the ground....it is not fun.  

I find Front Squats, Zerchers, and Hellraiser's to be the best at shaping a person's squat.

I hope this helps some of you guys reach new PR's!  Any questions feel free.  I wrote this because I couldn't sleep and I often get messages about my squatting and assistance exercises...it's a little vague but I hope it helps ( I would also like to note that this has helped my deadlift a LOT in the past year and a half and also to not do this without safety pins bc dumping the weight would be very difficult).

Head tall, chest up, whole foot....UPSTRONG!!