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Martins Licis and Mitchell Hooper Study Technique at Squat University


Even the most elite strongman athletes still train in the gym to improve their form. 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Martins Licis and 2022 Arnold Strongman UK champion Mitchell Hooper agree that there is constant space to improve lifting technique.

On Jan. 20, 2023, the strongman duo headed to Squat University to study squat form under the tutelage of Dr. Aaron Horschig. Their class was published on Licis’ YouTube channel so Licis’ 205,000 subscribers could learn some tips for themselves. Check it out below:

[Related: Rhianon Lovelace Scores U64KG Axle Clean & Press World Record of 101 Kilograms (222.7 Pounds)]

The video opened with a brief shot of Hooper squatting with a barbell and Licis spotting him while squatting Horschig. The head of Squat University was training with two of the strongest athletes on the planet. The training session occurred at Ghost Gym in Miami, FL, near the 2023 Wodapalooza festival that featured the elite CrossFit competition at Bay Front Park.

Horschig’s first adaptation to Licis’ training was to place a resistance band around his ankles rather than the knees to help him focus on the external rotation rooting from the feet. This rotation helps further engage the glute medius, stabilizing the hips better. This was a test Horschig aimed primarily at Licis as the 2019 WSM champ was dealing with some niggling injuries in his right hip.

While Licis was working on his external rotation and hip alignment through the eccentric portion of the squat, Hooper appeared to be training toward his max lifts. The barbell bent over his traps as he knocked out squat triples while wearing his weight belt and knee sleeves.

[Related: Strongman Rob Kearney Teaches Sandbag-to-Shoulder Technique]

Hooper found that during the concentric portion of his heavy squats, he tends to lean slightly forward. While this might feel more comfortable as it’s where his body naturally wants to go, it might be a sign of flawed technique or a lack of strength at that point in the movement.
Horschigg used Licis to demonstrate where gravity is heaviest throughout the squat. When coming out of the hole of a rep, the hips moving above the knees can cause the torso to tilt forward, but that will be a lot of excess pressure on the erectors as gravity moves forward. Staying more upright throughout the concentric narrows the gap between the leverage points of the knees and the hips. This maintains gravity to stay more vertical and the lifter to drive more weight to the lockout.

Featured image: @martinslicis on Instagram

The post Martins Licis and Mitchell Hooper Study Technique at Squat University appeared first on BarBend.

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