In the first three videos of the elitefts Blast from the Past series, we've seen Dave's tutorial of how and why to use a GHR, an interview with Justin Harris and Jim Wendler, and the five biggest bench mistakes most lifters make. In today's video, Dave turns to the squat.
Of all mistakes lifters make in the squat, Dave says there is one that is more common and more harmful than all the rest: not keeping the upper back tight. By failing to keep your upper back tight, your sternum drops, your head drops, and your chest drops. When this happens, the bar falls forward, forcing you out of position and likely causing you to miss the lift.
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To solve this issue, the first step is understanding that tightness doesn't come from only the shoulder blades. A lot of lifters believe that upper back tightness can be achieved simply by pulling the shoulder blades together. However, optimal upper back tightness requires contraction from all four hemispheres; you have to have contraction from the right shoulder, left shoulder, neck, and lower back. To achieve this, from the very moment that you grab the bar during the setup, all the way through the end of the lift, think of these four areas. As you take the bar out, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together, driving your head back into the bar, and arching your lower back. The video shows lifters demonstrating proper upper back tightness, starting from the beginning of the setup.