“I have suffered from extreme chronic back pain for the last 10+ years, By the end of high school my back was super messed up from gymnastics and, competition weight lifting in school. Doctors, therapists and chiropractors all tried to fix me, but nothing really worked and the pain was constant, especially with me sitting in an office chair 8 to 10 hours a day.
I’m an athletic guy and have exercised and worked out my whole life, but this pain was so bad and so constant it was affect all areas of my life. Some days I could barely walk, other days my back would spasm and I would collapse.
I started working with Glenn not to fix my back, but to pack on a ton of muscle fast and work around my back pain, however the first day we started working together, he noticed what was wrong with my back and designed a whole “fixing” routine to get my back healed.”
Tanner came to me asking to get bigger and leaner for a photo shoot. He had been in great shape before. He was a professional shooter, and an ex-gymnast and was super athletic. He even did some print modeling for Abercrombie and Fitch. However, when talking about his workouts he let me know he only used the leg press, because of his back problems. He actually rarely trained legs anymore because of the pain. Tanner is a knowledgeable guy and knew the importance of training legs for boosting testosterone and muscle growth, so why was he so reluctant? His back must have been that bad.
This is when I explained to him we are going to fix it. I asked him for an overhead squat test. Within his first reps I could see the entire problem. Just to be thorough we finished the test. I told him thatâ€¦
â€œWe will get you bigger, and leaner, but before we do that we are going to be smart about this. I’m going to fix your back.You are going to have to do corrective non-weighted exercises, stretch 3 times a day, and foam roll. When your movement patterns are perfect we will lift heavy again. Until then we are doing sissy workouts and you have to do everything I say.â€
He pushed his doubt aside, agreed, and committed.
Step 1: The 30 Second Overhead Squat Test
Want to know everything about why you have pain, or why your body is functioning incorrectly? I use this 30 second Overhead Squat Test with all of my clients, and Tanner would be no exception. This one test shows me everything about my patient. With this test see every muscular imbalance and every incorrect function. The bar overhead can tell me everything like:
– rotator cuff problems
– which arm is dominant
– over stretched traps
– and even tight lats
Muscular Imbalances are when a muscle does most of the work and becomes dominant. This dominance creates a one directional pull and more tension on the joints, tendons, and ligaments. Because the muscle is doing most of the work, it also grows and continues to get worse. While this is happening the antagonist (opposite) muscles become weaker and overstretched. They create tissue”chewing” in the joints. Not Good.
When the individual goes into the squat it’s like opening a book. As you lower into the squat your body naturally will adjust to help lower your body. When this happens your stronger muscles take over, your tighter spots tighten, and your weak muscles are skipped over. With the legs squatting I can see:
– Tight Hip Flexors
– Quad or Hamstring dominance
– Glute, Hamstring, or Quad tightness
– Achilles tendon flexibility
– T-Spine problems
– Knee stability
– Groin flexibility
– Abduction mobility
– External rotation or Internal rotation
– Even which leg is dominant!
With this information I can prescribe specific stretches and foam rolling for the individual. This will loosen all of the tight spots their body has. I can then give them mobility warm-ups to increase their movement patterns, and even prescribe the workouts to strengthen the weaker muscles and create and even pull.
When the body is balanced out perfectly there is less tension on the joints, tendons, and ligaments. This also allows you to access more muscle in every movement, which means you are stronger, faster, and even burn more calories in every workout. So, this one test basically makes you a superhuman version of yourself.