One of my biggest struggles and one of the couple different reasons that I miss jerks is because of how I stand up from heavy cleans. My nickname in the gym is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle not because of my stature but because of my hunched over front squat style. A week midline and often a poor bar track leads to some pretty god awful front squats and cleans.
This week Ursula has decided to specifically attack that issue and I can see more of this work coming in the future. She introduced me to a new exercise that I had never performed before nor will I be looking forward to the in the future. The exercise is called the front squat recovery. In some capacity I have had athletes work on this but not specifically as you will see in the video below. The point of the front squat recovery is to reinforce a stable and strong midline when standing up from heavy front squats. Starting at a dead stop in the bottom I have no choice but to tighten up my midline and say strong throughout the standup.
I have had athletes do bottom to bottom front squats before and pause front squats before but I have never seen this portion of the exercise specifically focused on only the standup. Performing these yesterday not only was much much harder than I had anticipated but made for a pretty interesting recovery session immediately following that.
If you’re looking to strengthen your midline, work on a more vertical torso in the squat, or looking to reinforce glut activation during the standup of squats this is a good exercise for you. Check out the videos below for some examples and trust that lower percentages will be extremely challenging. The weight on the bar in these videos is only 125 kg. That’s only 70%! Trust that if this is a weak area for you these will be far from fun. Enjoy.