MUSCLE SNATCH TO OVERHEAD SQUATS ASSESSMENT GUIDE

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Weak Vastus Medialis Oblique

Issue: Knee or knees falls in above 90 degree or parallel during squat

VMO Function: Extends the knee and provides stability on ground contact

Corrective Exercise Methods: Peterson Step up, split squat, cyclists squat, 1 ¼ Squats, Backward Peterson sled drag

Common Problems when tight: low back pain, knee pain, knee instability, especially if tight and weak


Tight or Weak Adductors

Issue: As the subject descends in the squat the knees are widening

Function of the Adductors: Adducts and laterally rotate hip joint, adductors longus and brevis also flex the extended femur and extend the flexed femur

Corrective Methods: Inner-thigh stretching, massage, pausing in the deep position of the split squat, lateral sled work, leg adduction machines


Adhesion of the Adductor Magnus and Medial Hamstrings

Issue: The knees buckle in or out at the 90* point during squatting

Function of the Adductors: Adducts and laterally rotate hip joint

Function of the Medial Hamstrings: Flex the knee joint. Extend the hip. Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus also medially rotate (turn in) the lower leg when knee is flexed

Corrective Methods: Inner thigh stretching, massage


Tight or Weak Gluteus

Issue: Bending forward at the hip

Function: Extends and laterally rotates hip joint (force full extension as in running or rising from sitting) extends trunk, as in adduction of the hip joint

Corrective Methods: Good Morning, RDL, deadlifts, squats, lunges, split squats, all forms of Olympic lifting, pulls


Tight or Weak Quadratus Lumborum

Issue: Subject shifts the hips

Function:

  • Laterally flexes vertebral column
  • Helps stabilize the diaphragm
  • Helps extend the lumbar part of the vertebral column and provides lateral stability

Common problems: Referral pain to the hip and gluteal area and low back

Corrective Exercises: Side bends, side sit ups, side flexion w/ Swiss ball or bench


Glute Dominant or Weak Quads

Issue: Subject falls back during ascent or descent of squat, raises buttocks to help stand up out of the squat

Function of Quad: Vasti extend the knee joint

Rectus Femoris: Extends the knee joint and flexes the hip joint

Function of Glute: Extends and laterally rotates the hip joint (forceful extension in running or rising from sitting). Extends trunk, assists in adduction of hip joint

Corrective Methods: Peterson step ups, split squats, backwards sled drag, step ups, front squats


Glute Dominant – Tight Hip Flexors

Issue: Subject bends forward, raises buttocks on the way up

Corrective methods: Stretching, deep split squats


Tight Psoas

Issue: One foot is placed in front of the other, leans too far forward during squat, butt starts to stick out at 15*

Function: Main Flexor of the hip joint (flexes laterally, rotates thigh, as in kicking a football) Acting from it insertion, flexes the trunk as in sitting up from the position

Corrective Method: Stretch hip flexors

Common problems: When muscles are tight and shortened it may cause low back pain due to increase in lumbar curve (lordosis)


Tight IT Band

Issue: At 45 degree, knees buckle in and out briefly during squatting

Corrective Methods: perform IT Band stretches, soft tissue work


Tight Erector Spinae

Issue: During the squat there is a rounding of the lower back

Function:

  • Extends and laterally flexes vertebral column (i.e. bending backwards and sideways)
  • Helps maintain curvatures of the spin in erect and sitting positions
  • Steadies the vertebral column on pelvis while walking

Corrective Methods: Stretch lower back, posterior chain work, i.e. reverse hypers


Tight Piriformis

Issue: Below 90 degree the knees and feet turn out

Function: Laterally rotates hip joint, Abducts the thigh when hip is flexed, helps hold head of femur in socket

Corrective methods: Stretch piriformis


Tight Rectus Femoris

Issue: Subject has difficulty allowing the knees to traveling past their toes during squatting

Function: Extends the knee joint and flexes the hip joint

Corrective Methods: Quad and hip flexor stretching

Note: Ankle might be tight as well


Weak Flexor Hallucis Longus

Issue: Ankle turns out / supinates

Function: Flexes the great toe. Helps to plantarflex and invert the foot. Helps stabilize the inside of the ankle

Corrective methods: Standing and seated calf raises, tibialis anterior work


Weak Trapezius

Issue: Subject can’t hold bar fixed overhead

Function:

  • Upper fibres pull the shoulder girdle up (elevation) and help prevent depression of the shoulder girdle when the weight is carried on the shoulder or in the hand
  • Middle fibres retract (adduct) the scapula
  • Lower fibres depress the scapula
  • Upper and lower fibres act together to rotate the scapula, as in elevating arm above head

Corrective methods: Pulls of all kinds, shrugs, shoulder dumbbell and barbell pressing, chin-ups, dumbbell lateral raises, dips


Weak Rhomboids

Issue: Subject can’t retract and adduct scapula

Common problems: tight soreness between shoulder blades, over-stretched, rounded shoulders

Function: Retracts and adducts scapula, stabilizes scapula, slightly assists in outer range of adduction of arm (i.e from overhead to arm at shoulder level)

Corrective Methods: Dumbbell and barbell rowing, upright row, high pulls, behind the neck lat pull down, pulley shoulder adduction


Tight Coracobrahialis

Issue: Subject can’t fully extend arm in the overhead position; during squat subject will feel pain in the anterior deltoid complex

Function: Flexes and adducts the arm

Corrective Methods: stretching, treatment, massage


Key Muscles at Play During the Overhead Portion in the Muscle Snatch and Overhead Squat

Issue: Subject can’t hold / stabilize bar overhead. Tight or weak Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Teres Major

Corrective methods: stretching, massage, external rotation work, muscle snatch and lateral raises

Function:

Deltoids

  • Protector of the shoulder joint
  • Anterior fibres act in flexion and medial rotation
  • Medial fibres abduction of the arm
  • Posterior fibres act in extension and lateral rotation

Rotator Cuff

  • Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Major, Subscapularis
  • Collectively these four muscles surround and reinforce the glenohumeral joint on three sides
  • Their main function is to help keep the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity during various movements, particularly abduction

Triceps Brachii

  • Extends (straightens) the elbow joint
  • Long head can adduct the humerus and extend it from the flexed position
  • Stabilizes the shoulder joint

Latissimus Dorsi

  • Extends the flexed arm
  • Adducts and medially rotates the humerus (i.e draws the arm back and inwards towards body)

Weak Rotator Cuff Muscles

Issue: Subject cannot externally rotate 20kg bar to the overhead position during the muscle snatch

Action: Please refer to Section: Key Muscles at Play During the Overhead Portion in the Muscle Snatch and Overhead Squat

Corrective Methods: muscle snatch, dumbbell and cable external rotations.


Tight Rotator Cuff Muscles

Issue: Subject can’t keep bar close to body during the concentric portion of lift

Action: Please refer to Section: Key Muscles at Play During the Overhead Portion in the Muscle Snatch and Overhead Squat

Corrective Methods: Stretching


Imbalance in Right or Left Rotator Cuff

Issue: Right or left elbow is uneven during the external rotation of the bar

Action: Please refer to Section: Key Muscles at Play During the Overhead Portion in the Muscle Snatch and Overhead Squat

Corrective Methods: Stretch rotator cuff muscles, dumbbell or cable external rotation work


References

The Body Moveable, by David Gorman
The Concise Book of Muscles, by Chris Jarmey
Anatomy of Movement by Blandine Calais – Germain
PICP Structural Balance Level 2

CURATED & PUBLISHED BY

Athlete Activation System Inc.
Toronto, ON Canada

Copyright © Athlete Activation System Inc. All rights reserved.