Skydiving Health and Fitness | Strengthening with an Olympic Bar
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Skydiving Health and Fitness | Strengthening with an Olympic Bar

Skydiving Health and Fitness | Strengthening with an Olympic Bar

Safety & Training
Monday, September 26, 2022

Brought to you by Dr. Nancy Grieger, DPT, of Blue Skies Physical Therapy at Skydive Elsinore in California.

This set of three exercises, performed with a 45-pound Olympic bar, is great for lower-back stability. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.

Because the bar is heavy, make sure you have proper posture when lifting it off the floor, putting it behind your head and putting it back on the floor. When lifting the bar, position your feet just wider than your shoulders, keep your back straight, slightly bend your knees, hold your stomach in, keep your head up and use your legs.

Deadlift with Row

Start in the proper position to lift the bar. Once you grip the bar, lift with your legs, not with your back. Think of your back muscles contacting, like you have a tightening ratchet strap connected to the back of your head and your sacrum. When you stand up straight, squeeze your gluts. Hold the bar at mid-thigh level and then pull it to your chest.

Keeping your elbows close to your body, squeeze your shoulder blades and lower the bar slowly while maintaining your lower and upper back in proper alignment. Bending at your hips and control your core. Let your arms lower as if you were sliding the bar down your legs. As you return to the start position, maintain bent knees and an arched or straight back as you lower the bar to your hips. Use your gluts and back muscles as you slowly lower the bar to the start position.


Squat and Lateral Squat

Both exercises begin with the bar on the back of your neck. Place your legs shoulder-width apart. Bend at your knees and hips and then transfer the weight to your mid-foot and toes. Once you grab the bar, transfer the weight to your heels, chest up (as if letting someone read your shirt). Look ahead and lift with your legs, then use an explosive motion or jump to turn the bar over in your hands. Spread your legs apart (like a split squat) and press the bar up over your head. Then gently lower the bar behind your neck. You now have 45 pounds resting on your upper back.


With the bar on your upper back, keep your weight in your heels, bend at your hips and place your butt back. (Don’t transfer the weight forward into your knees.) Squat no lower than where you can maintain control and proper form and posture.


Lateral Squat

With the bar on your upper back, transfer your weight onto one leg, then laterally reach your other leg wider and squat. Push back to the center with the leg you stepped with, and transfer your weight to that leg. Then, shift your weight to lift the other leg, perform the lateral move, squat and then press back to center.

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