Chad Vaughn repeatedly tells Kayla Baumgardner to get comfortable in the bottom of her overhead squat.
Vaughn, a two-time Olympian, can tell being so low is an unfamiliar position for the 22-year-old, who is scheduled to compete at the Northern California Regional this year.
“You’re gonna have to get where you can hold tight in that bottomed-out position,” advises Vaughn, part owner of CrossFit CenTex in Belton, Texas.
The first step, he adds, is to become as comfortable and flexible in the position as possible.
“And flexible means that I can hold tight,” Vaughn explains.
To help in getting her lower, he recommends that Baumgardner widen her feet in her squat stance. He also tells her to narrow her grip a bit to bring the bar into a position near the pubic bone when she’s standing tall, and he recommends Baumgardner learn how to let go of the hook grip on the catch.
“One thing that will open up mobility immediately and allow you to keep the elbow up easier is letting go of the hook grip overhead,” Vaughn says.
Video by Dave Leys.
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Additional reading: Oly Optimization by Chad Vaughn, published Nov. 18, 2011.