Squat Pattern Deviations, Part 1

A quick look at how movement pattern deviations can “disappear” between exercises.

Ok, so it’s really about how they don’t always present in 2 relatively similar exercises and how changing upper-body position and loading, along with tempo, can place your athlete in a movement situation where the deviation becomes almost “self-correcting.”

Cam Dineen is a left-handed ice hockey player, drafted #68 overall by the Arizona Coyotes So tight lats and posterior shoulder girdle on the right side, as well as stability/strength dominance of the right hip, are no surprise.

The left arm and shoulder girdle are used to being in the extended, slightly externally rotated position demanded by Barbell Squats. Cam is relying on a familiar compensation pattern to complete the task.

As we cued a scapular retraction on the left side, alignment improves. Unconscious dysfunction becomes conscious dysfunction, a big step forward toward function and proficiency.

Interestingly, when Cam’s shoulders are slightly internally rotated in the Zercher Seated Jump, we don’t see the relative misalignment. It may be that without the familiar position of the shoulder, alignment is the natural state of his shoulders, or that activating the pecs and delts prevented dysfunctional firing and alignment of the lats and shoulder girdle.

Either way, we’ve been shown a clear path to improving the pattern. Some tissue quality improvement, optimizing right scapular position and loading into the dysfunction by strengthening the left scapular system and equalizing relative hip strength will lead to improvements in both patter quality and force reduction and production.

That, in turn, will lead to higher levels of strength and power for Cam. And the whole point of his training is to improve his performance to NHL-worthy levels.

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