Experimentation in the fitness industry can be lacking at times. We all get caught up in the “right” way to do something rather than thinking logically or better yet, trying new things ourselves as coaches.
This was one of my recent experiences in this arena.
We were up north (for those that are NOT Wisconsinites, “up north” is our way of saying we went to a cabin by a lake north of where we live 🙂 and doing what you do up north: hang in the water, drink and eat). The Friday we were there was particularly lazy and I decided I needed to get some kind of training in. So I grabbed my bands and utility strap and headed out to the deck. I cranked out this nasty workout in probably under 20 minutes and in the process found an incredible variation for the split squat that I’ve rarely seen used.
RNT (Reactive Neuromuscular Training) split squats are TYPICALLY used to “fix” someone whose knee caves in (valgus) when they squat. So, if I have a band, I will wrap it around the individual’s front knee and have the resistance pulling their knee in, so they neuromuscularly react and fire the lateral hip musculature to counteract the band resistance.
Instead, for this RNT split squat variation, I decided I wanted to pull my front knee away from the midline. It’s kind of like having your knee bow out away from your body and then having to force it back into a good position.
Then, I was forced to lock in my Internal Torque musculature and work my butt off (figurative because the likely result is better glute development). I felt my inner hamstrings, inner quads and glutes fire like never before on a split squat variation
Additionally, I had no choice but to drive through the big toe and inside of the foot which is HUGE for power development. Having the strength and stamina to drive this way helps a power athlete maintain a long AND explosive pull for movements like a clean or a snatch.
SO, if you are interested in getting some serious work done on your hamstring/quad/glute strength or have the desire to improve your pulling ability, I highly encourage you to add these to your accessory work.
Then, enjoy the afterglow of your smoldering legs after getting lit up!