I vividly remember it still today – I can play it back in my
head in slow motion.
I was riding my bike to class, scanning the driver’s side
of the parked cars on the street.
I was always aware – hyper aware since the previous
summer when some joker kicked his car door open
while I was riding. I crashed into his car door and went
heels over head over his door – almost ripping his door
off. (I still have the scar on my chest.)
And there she was – another unaware driver who just
threw her car door open without looking.
“Ha! You’re not going to get me this time,” I thought as
I swerved left to get out of the way of the door.
And then it happened – again!
I flipped butt over head.
This time I missed the door head on but the edge of my
“bear-trap” pedal caught the edge of her door and flipped
Fortunately, I tucked and rolled but landed on my left
shoulder and the back of my head.
Extremely pissed off, I got up, straightened my handlebars,
and hopped on and rode off.
After locking my bike up and getting to class late, I went
to take off my bag and that’s when I noticed it.
My left shoulder hurt.
And so did the back of my neck – like a headache.
I later went to the athletic trainer to have the shoulder
looked at. Turns out it was separated. She said it was
only a first degree, but I think she was wrong. Based on
the lack of range of motion and how long it took to recover
and what it actually looked like in the mirror, it was
probably a second degree.
Anyway, since I couldn’t lift my left arm, I [wisely] decided
to take a week off.
After my week off, I still couldn’t do much upper body work
with my shoulder, so I decided to do only lower body
three days a week.
And only 2 exercises:
Back Squats and Good Mornings.
And you know what?
30 days after my injury, I went back to upper body training.
My bench stayed the same and I lost one rep off my
military press rep max.
That was it.
How was that possible?
Because of the systemic demand placed on my body by
Squats just make the whole body stronger.
Especially the double KB Front Squat.
The first time I did them, I was surprised at how demanding
they were – with “just” a pair of 32s. And I routinely squatted
in the mid 300s to low 400s with a bar.
Neither my abs nor my upper back could “hide.”
It seemed like they honed in, like a laser, on my weaknesses,
exposing them, and forcing me to deal with them.
It was interesting – here was a lighter load that made
me work harder.
That doesn’t often happen in the strength world.
That’s why I recommend that if you have an upper body
injury, you spend A LOT of time under your KBs in the
It’ll make your whole body stronger – including your upper
You should know how to Front Squat properly.
In order to do so, you need to know a few things first:
1. How to set up the Rack position
2. How to apply the Rack to your Front Squat
3. Which common mistakes to avoid
Fortunately, I cover all this and more in great detail
inside “Kettlebell STRONG!.”
You’ll also need a program to follow. I did three days a
week of squatting – you should too.
You can take the “STRONG!” program and use it with
your Front Squats. You’ll be surprised at how strong it’ll
I know that “just” KB Front Squats might sound boring –
But you know what’s NOT boring?
The strength you’ll gain from doing them.
PLUS, the double KB Front Squat is THE foundation
exercise for the rest of the double KB lifts.
Remember, the broader the base, the higher the peak.
So time spent on the Front Squat is time well spent.