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12: Go-To Moves

ATG Coaching Insider Series 12:

I’m a big fan of “go-to moves.”

Example: after extensive study of basketball moves, I found out that the best players in the NBA statistically use LESS moves per point scored.

The common denominator of the top players has LESS to do with how many moves they have, and MORE to do with how unstoppable each move is.

For the knee we have had go-to moves for years:

 1. Reverse Sled improves…

 2. Reverse Step Up, which improves…

 3. Full Split Squat, which improves…

 4. Full Squat…

 5. And we’ve done much trial and error, but there does seem to be extra value in taking the quad through an even fuller stretch, ranging from Couch Stretch to Sissy Squats to Reverse Nordics.

Even Zero sought to accomplish go-to #1 without a sled. We found that pumping from the ground up can do the trick (Tib then Calf then KOT Calf and you’re pumped up in a similar manner to Sled.) So perhaps go-to move #1 for the knee could be summarized as “ground-up pump.”

This week’s coaches article is not to give you absolutes. It’s as much to spark your own mind on this subject and get feedback.

Could the posterior version possibly simplify down to:

 1. Back extension improves…

 2. Seated GM, which improves…

 3. RDL (really this would be the whole Deadlift family, just as Squat above has so many different variations), which improves…

 4. Knee Flexion, which improves…

 5. Jefferson Curl?

I’ve been referring to 6 zones for the knee and posterior, but they could possibly simplify to 5.

The purpose isn’t to be perfect.

The purpose is to get the best RESULTS.

And the best RESULTS happen to be related to how consistently we can get the job done.

Therefore, if we COULD simplify to 5 go-to moves, that might be better than 6.

I’m not positive, either. But it should be looked into.

I’m not even certain on the posterior list above. I could also see knee flexion going first, if you have access to a hamstring curl machine. Additionally, the hamstrings act as knee flexors and hip extensors, so it could possibly be put as:

 1. Forward Sled improves…

 2. Short-Range (Ham Curl & Back Extension), which improves…

 3. Long-Range (Seated GM, Nordic), which improves…

 4. Mid-Range (deadlifts and perhaps sprinting itself for knee flexion?), which improves…

 5. Jefferson Curl (outer range)

As you can see, there’s some confusion there.

But we’re getting close.

And WOW is this more effective than the unlayered sea of random exercises I was exposed to before ATG.

For the upper body, we would have to identify some sort of “sled” but some of the following steps have similarities…

We know that the stabilizing shoulder work improves pain-free full-range pressing performance, and that dumbbells are below barbells in terms of layering:

 1. Pump from the wrist up (Keegan / Wrist Ability have insights on this - this would mimic “sled” / “pump from the ground up”)

 2. Shoulder Stabilizers (this would correlate to step ups and back extensions)

 3. Full range dumbbell work (boom: related to split squats, as dumbbells can provide full range of motion and unilateral training)

 4. Now barbell pressing, dips, chins - all double-arm work, just as squats and deadlifts are Layer 4 above.

 5. And finally outer range work such as Smith Curls and Pullovers.

Think on it.


Report back to land.

And let’s keep mapping the way for the rest of the world.

Yours in Results,


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