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What's Happening -- To Pad, or Not to Pad

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Image-BFS Manta Ray

The BFS staff has been asked to address the pros and cons of wrapping pads around barbells to make them more comfortable when performing back squats. This is how we responded:

"Many beginners find it extremely uncomfortable to hold a barbell on their shoulders. Using a supportive device such as the Manta Ray often resolves this problem, as it distributes the pressure over a larger area. That being said, competitive weightlifters and powerlifters prefer no supportive devices, as they believe it reduces the ‘feel’ of the bar on their shoulders. In fact, with powerlifting barbells, there is center knurling that serves to help dig into the neck for a more secure feel.

"With the Manta Ray, the barbell is just supported from a higher position. Wrapping a towel around a barbell, or using a padded device that wraps around the bar, pushes the barbell backward on the shoulders, which in turn decreases the stability of the exercise. To compensate, an athlete will often roll their shoulders forward, thereby putting the spine out of optimal alignment – this is compounded by the fact that a wrap increases the distance from the bar to the hips, and as such increases the stress on the lower back. The wrap also may increase the risk of neck injury, as it puts the head out of normal alignment. Further, such a wrap increases the risk of the barbell sliding off the back.

If an athlete wants more support or finds that the
bar digs into the back too much, they can simply use a
closer grip.”

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BFS Online Learning Center is Updated with Plyometric Training and Drills!

BFS is committed to bringing our WRSC coaches new information on training and weight room protocols that get the best results out of their athletes. With the addition of a dedicated plyometric training page we are giving BFS Coaches the resources they need to begin implementing a plyometric box jumping routine that is sure to improve footwork, agility and vertical jump.

Through the use of video, photographs and in depth BFS articles and position papers, combined with attendance at a BFS WRSC this resource has what any coach needs to get a plyo program up and running.

BFS has many more Online Learning Center expansions in the works. Keep and eye on the site for future upgrades!

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