We have had a couple blog posts about the Front Rack position, which has focused on tightness in the upper half of our body. But, one of the main issues with a poor front rack position is the hips. If you find that your chest comes forward when you either squat, back-squat, front-squat, or overhead squat, this means that you are tight in the hips. This makes things difficult, because it forces the bar away from your center of mass, which is more or less above your ankles. When the bar moves away from the center of mass, it forces us to work extra hard to support the weight. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you are not alone. In today’s society where we spend much of our time sitting, our hip muscles are constantly contracted, so stretching them out becomes difficult, but luckily through stretching we can improve this.
There are two great stretches that we will discuss. The first one we do in class all the time. The classic “couch stretch”. This is where the back foot is rested on the bench as pictured below. It is important not to let the chest lean forward, because then we are not fighting our tightness, lean back as far as you can, and try to let the hip relax. Ideally, you would want your knee as close to the bench as possible, so the fella in the picture needs to move the knee back towards the bench.
The other version of the couch stretch, is more difficult, and not a lot of fun if you are stiff, but that means you should probably get good at it. Here is a video link to the Crossfit Mobility King, Dr. Kelly Starrett, explaining the second version of the couch stretch. If you have any mobility issues, generally the best place to start looking on how to work on them is at KStarr’s website, mobilitywod.com There are hours and hours of footage on how to become more mobile, so it is a great resource for becoming more flexible.
If you make these stretches part of your routine (meaning several times/week), and remember to hold them for at least 2:00, you will definitely see improvement in all of your squats.
Crossfit 46 Coaching Staff