Back Squat derivatives form the cornerstone of many performance strength training programmes owing to our ability to maximally load the Squat pattern and evoke maximal neuromuscular recruitment in a pattern that has good transfer of training to many sports.
In the Fundamentals series we work to retain our primary focus on lumbo-pelvic control and stiffening of the lumbar spine in a good posture as the lower body flexes and extends. Where front loading exercises seen in the Corrective phase force a stiffened ‘neutral’ lumbar spine posture during squatting, rear loading with the Back Squat derivatives opens the door and even encourages lumbar extension, especially when the going gets tough. In sports where movement quality really matters, we consider that an energy leak in hip extension and a potential irritant that we don’t want to transfer into sports skills.
There is much discussion around a technical model for Back Squatting which often optimises for maximum load on the bar. Our technical model on the other hand, is based on maximal transference to high-skill sports using technical models from vertical plyometrics as a bridge between heavy strength training and ballistic sports movements. Our Squat progressions therefore optimise for load lifted with a particular Squat technique. Deviating from this technical model, reduces dynamic correspondence to sports skills and places athletes under increasingly negative stress the further you deviate from it.