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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

Planning the gym-based programme

The front squat

Figure 2. The front squat completed within the lifting rack.

There are a number of limitations commonly seen in performing the front squat exercise correctly. Firstly, achieving squat depth is a common limitation. Our progression with the wall squat and other exercises such as the mobility exercises described in Functional screening will assist in helping the player attain greater depth. Many players also may lack thoracic extension and mobility about the latisssimus dorsi muscles of the upper back and the shoulder muscles in assuming the correct catch or rack position of the bar across the front of the shoulders. To help the player overcome this limitation we ask them to practice the front squat through a series of front squat progressions. We start with a simple arms outstretched after pulling the shoulders backwards. This helps to attain a more upright torso (with thoracic extension) during the squat. Next we coach the front squat using a pair of straps on the bar to assist raising the arms and elbows during the front squat. The next progression is to use an unloaded bar while grasping the bar across the front of the shoulders in the catch or rack position. Please reference your lecture notes for more progressions to attaining a competent front squat technique.

Please note that players will vary in their rate of progression through these steps. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to complete a front squat with a strong non-flexed spine while maintaining elbows raised and pointed forwards during the descent and ascent through the movement.