Strength and Flexibility

First, let me say I admire and appreciate your website and online contributions. Thank you.

I have to tell you the rather funny story of how I stumbled upon your site. I am a state trooper in Michigan, and a group of us have been into Crossfit for about the past year or so. I have another buddy who is no longer a trooper who is my bodybuilding inspiration. He posted about an exercise called "face pulls", so I found a demo on YouTube by a guy with the last name of Poliquin. Anyway, on that same sidebar on YouTube there was a demo by the same guy where a student was demonstrating subscapularis pull-ups (SSP's).

I'd never heard of them, so I wanted to see a better demo. I clicked on a video by a ripped dude at a roadside park demonstrating SSP's and BAM!, a perfect subscapularis pull-up. You caught my attention. I then showed a bunch of the troops the first video demo, saying, "Ok, check out how this kid does it..."

Then I pulled up your video and said, "Now watch how THIS guy does it!"

I tried them for the first time tonight. I love 'em! They were far from perfect, but just what I need for my unshapely back. Thank you!

I was delighted to discover you are a brother in blue! I appreciate your site in that you post LEO related exercises. I've always been pretty fit, but I'm noticing now that I'm 36, I'm weakening in certain areas and my muscles are tightening up a bit. I need to work stretching into my program a WHOLE lot more. I recently (2 weeks ago) competed in (and finished) my first sprint triathlon in Clark Lake, MI. Great fun pushing myself in the training, but now I want to cycle back into strength training a bit more. I will check in with you regularly for tips, so I linked your blog on my blog sidebar, so I can do just that.

Thanks again, brother. Please stay safe.


My Answer: Hey Mike, glad you like the subscapularis pull-up demo. Always good to hear from another LEO.

I don't find too many people who actually know how to perform a subscapularis pull-up. You have to be pretty strong in the regular pull-up in order to attempt the subscapularis version. I'm sure that you're feeling it now in your lats, midback and abs.

Keep in mind that most people who attempt the subscapularis pull-up do the easier version where their bodies are vertical both in the lifting phase and the lowering phase. Perfectly fine to do that version, but just make sure you are still squeezing your shoulder blades back and pushing away from the bar as you perform the eccentric phase.

A lot of guys do tighten up as they age, including myself. I like to perform movements that require a combination of strength and flexibility. My favorite exercise for this are kettlebell windmills:


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