Building an enviable back squat is hard work.
I’ve set myself the challenge of squatting 200kg. Nothing huge or fancy, but a target. While progress has been steady, I’ve been dissatisfied with my form. When the bar gets heavy, I would excuse you if you thought I was doing good mornings.
The medical term is Goodmorningitis, and it’s s become an epidemic. But you won’t read about it. The authorities are keeping Goodmorningitis on the low-down – to stop panic enveloping the strength world.
I stumbled upon an article by Yasha Kahn, with good fortune.
Kahn explores the disease and offers remedies too. The author suggests the main thing that causes Goodmorningitis is an imbalance. An over-use of strong back muscles due to weak leg muscles, to be specific. But this is not the case for everyone with this unfortunate condition.
Goodmorningitis can be driven by faulty movement patterns. I have watched many people with chunky, muscular and strong thighs succumb to this disease.
If strength is not the concern, the issue lies in leg muscle recruitment. If the quads don’t work through the entire range of the squat it leads to a change in posture. The change favours the lower back muscles, to provide an extra kick, as the body’s sole aim is to get the weight up.
Fortunately, Goodmorningitis isn’t fatal.
Below are a few cures. Share them, I beg you if I don’t make it…
Front squats are the turmeric of the strength world. With so many benefits you’d be a fool not to front squat.
In the case of curing Goodmorningitis, the front squat:
- Forces you to stay upright
- Demands more from the quads by moving the centre of mass toward the toes
- Limits your ability to fault into a good morning as the barbell will fall forward from the shoulders
Keeping these cues in mind can keep your squat form on track:
- Open the hips – Not the knees. Think about ‘opening up’ from the pelvis
- Vertical bar path – Visualise the bar travelling in a straight line. This unrealistic but keeping it in mind will stop you from pitching forward
- Control the descent – Too fast and you lose shape. Too slow and you can’t spring out of the hole. Find a middle ground between the two. A good descent forms the launchpad of the back squat
Sweat on poor form
Be critical of your form. Don’t let a good morningesque squat infiltrate your sets. If you begin to notice your body tilting forward or any other classic sign or symptom of you-know-what – stop immediately.
Continuing to squat when your form is dodgy reinforces a poor movement pattern. Then, it becomes harder to override. Instead, take a longer rest between sets and retry your previous effort. If you’re still not proud of your technique, drop the load until your form is pristine.
Let’s stop Goodmorningitis before it spreads any further. Read Yasha Kahn’s article for help too.
Godspeed my friends.