T Nation

Few Questions

I got a few questions for everyone…

1) How do you do jump squats? I've never seen a description of them, but I imagine you just explode up from the bottom of the squat? Seems like that would be a lot of stress on your back when you land with bar on your back.

2) Has anyone tried doing supine (underhanded) grip benches? Seems to me like this would hit the triceps pretty well but I haven't tried it. I've never seen anyone refer to it anywhere.

3) Has anyone seen the new starkist tuna in a bag thing? Pretty fuckin awesome if you ask me, much better than the cans.

Um.....I thought I had more to talk about, but now I can't think of what else i wanted to ask...no matter.

To get around the problem of stress on the back(when doing jump squats) use dumbells. Also, it is important to explode out of the bottom position, and try and jump as high as posible to get the full plyometric effect. When landing make sure to “cushen” the blow to your lower body by bending at the knees. Make sure to keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight during the entire exercise. I think Ian King went over other points of jump squats in his famous limping series (one of the later phases).

I tried doing reverse-grip bench presses (as supine grip bench presses are called) for a while but they didn’t really do anything for me. However a fun trick (and it is a trick
exercise rather than something to do all the
time) is to do traditional close grip bench
presses, then on being unable to do another
rep, switch to reverse grip (medium wide grip.) Something to do as an odd thing.

Anthony Clark has made the reverse grip bench press quite famous. Unlike most lifters, he can lift more with that grip than with conventional grip.

When doing jump squats make sure you go light…No more then about 30% of your max. The goal is to get the plyometric effect and explosiveness, it doesn’t take a lot of weight to accomplish that. Explode up keeping your body tight and when you land absorb the impact with the balls of your feet first and then absorb the rest by bending your knees. Don’t go all the way down into a full squat position on these. I teach people to go down to about a 1/4 squat and back up again in 1 continuous motion. Also if you can hear your feet hitting the ground hard on each rep then you need to work on controlling the weight and absorbing the impact better.


As far as reverse grip benches some powerlifters use them as an assistance exercise. Some powerlifters are even stronger in a reverse grip bench then a normal grip bench, like Anthony Clark. They do hit the triceps hard, but I feel them too much in my elbow and shoulder joints, so you might experiment with them and see how they work for you.