A post shared by Conjugate U (@nateharvey2600) on

Yes it's a box squat video, no we are not talking about box squats today. We're talking about shoulder health. If you train athletes there is NO reason you should be training with a regular straight bar the majority of the time other than to teach the movement. Start them out on straight bar because that's what they are probably used to but after the first 3-4 weeks save their shoulder and start using specialty bars. If you train overhead athletes this is even more important to not user straight bars. Holding the degree of external rotation in the shoulder that is required with a straight bar in addition to the load placed on the joint is BRUTAL over time. I know this from personal experience and athlete feedback. If you are a powerlifter you have to use a straight bar some of the time, athletes NO!

Your bar progression when bringing an athlete back from an upper body injury should be this:
1. Belt squat
2. Safety bar
3. Giant cambered bar
4. Duffalo bar

When they complete this continue to rotate 2-4. You can throw the straight bar in sparingly as a way to put some variation in but if you put your athletes under a straight bar the majority of the time you are speeding the the clock on their shoulder wear.

Specialty bars also allow the athlete to get stronger with less weight. They expose weak areas of the body and raise them faster than straight bars. Having less over all tonnage on the athlete lets them take less abuse from training and have more gas in the tank for actual sport performance!

Start boosting athlete performance and prolong careers!