Coach Caleb’s Corner
It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over
So here are a few simple ways to keep your sets of ballistics safe, (especially for your hard-working back!) throughout even the highest volume training sessions.
In this context, I’m not just talking about the power breathing mechanics being used for the lockout of the swing. Yes, we definitely want that sharp exhalation, boxer’s “hiss,” and the accompanied abdominal bracing going into the top of every rep, but we also need a sharp abdominal inhalation when the weight is finishing its descent into the backswing or “hike pass” position. A forceful inhalation through the nose should not only be obvious on the backswing of every rep of the set, but also on the backswing of the last rep before touching the weight back down. Our StrongFirst Girya training manual reminds us: “Diaphragmatic inhalation will make you stronger and your back safer…” “Don’t be lazy, don’t cut this resisted inhalation short.” The description of a “resisted” inhalation means that the sharp inhale we’re talking about here goes into a still-somewhat-braced set of abdominal muscles! We must avoid the pitfall of relaxing the abs too much and forgetting to practice the inhale of the power breath on every backswing. The final backswing of a set before the KB has to get way down low, parked on the ground, is perhaps the most easy to disregard, but the most likely to cause injury. If we cut short our power breathing practice half a rep too early, on set after set of swings, we will indeed suffer the consequences! Keep up all your your good power breathing mechanics, even on that last half-rep of a set.
Whatever the set is, it ain’t over until it’s over, and the weight is parked safely back on the ground. If we make sure we’re in the habit of maintaining the integrity of our technique, even on the backswings of ballistics that never get fired, then we shall remain strong and injury free. Enjoy the trick of making everyone in the gym think you might do another rep of that set of swings, but instead you put the weight down. Really sell it! You’re body will thank you by hurting less, and doing more.