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Monday Mobility: Upgrading the Squatting Thoracic Extension Exercise

Today’s mobility post is all about attention to detail.

The Squat and Reach exercise has become more and more popular over the last while, which is great to see.

It is a combination exercise helping to solidify a resting / deep squat position and develop so extension and rotation through the upper back.

Done well it ticks a lot of boxes.

Mostly though, as explained in this one minute video, many boxes are left unticked by most:

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A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:36am PDT

The video cuts of at the end there, what I was about to explain was the value of propping up the heels.

If you can’t get into the deep squat, grab something to elevate your heels enough so that you can. Then perform the exercise. You might use weight plates if you’re in the gym, maybe a couple of books if you’re at home. Many of the more old school type gyms have a 2 x 4 knocking around the squat rack area specifically for this reason, as seen in this iconic picture of Dave Draper:

While Mr Draper is lifting his heels so he can emphasise his quads better, you may need it simply to get that deep into the squat. How to get into the squat without the heel lift is another story and one I’ll cover soon.

Until then, lets get that shoulder externally rotating in the Squat and Reach exercise and really get the spine to move like butter.

Any questions, let me know in the comments below.


Dave Hedges

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