First and foremost, I like the bars to teach a proper stance while pulling from the floor. The neutral grip assists the athletes in establishing a proper flat back posture. The coaching cues of chest over knees and knees over toes is really easy to establish. Hex (Trap) bars also allow us to get the athletes head up and into an aligned stance. This is vital for not only deadlifts, but also front squat, back squat, the first pull of the clean, as well as the catch phase of the clean. This is a functional lift but it is great at teaching the posture we need in several other lifts. By using Trap Bars, it allows for a neutral grip that alleviates tension and pain for some of our athletes. In conclusion, the HexCel Bar offers two different handles for more versatility and to help those with limited mobility.
These seemingly small additions have paid off tremendously for our facility and programs. The landmine attachment use is growing by the day in our program and has now in fact become one of our progressions while teaching the squat and serves as a great tool for teaching. First, we graduate athletes from gobblet squats to landmine squats. There are several progressions and variations of landmine use alone. Not only are these great but it is also a wonderful way to advance athletes from relative strength and lighter med balls to “weight training.” Several of the technique coaching cues of the Trap Bars are the same for using the landmine attachments as well.
I have even found examples of combining Trap Bar and Landmines together.
Fitness sliders give you a low-impact, total body workout and can be used to enhance a variety of body weight exercises. Use them with your hands or feet for ultimate versatility. Similarly, my program has use lunch trays and I’ve even heard some places use paper plates.
Johnson is a graduate of Normandale Community College, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota, playing football at both NCC and Augsburg. “RJ” teaches physical education at Wayzata High School and is the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Wayzata Public Schools, a position he began in 2000. Wayzata Athletics have captured 52 team state titles in histenure; Johnson works directly with the three-time state champion football program as Director of Operations and Player Development. He is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a Registered Strength and Conditioning Specialist – both certifications with Distinction and is the Minnesota NSCA State Director. NSCA awards include Minnesota High School Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year 2010; State Director of the Year 2013; Strength of America Award 2015; and 2017 National High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. In 2017 he became a founding Board Member of the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA); and serves as a Regional Director for the organization. A former volunteer firefighter, he also received an Award of Merit from the Minnesota Department of Health and Safety for participation in a lifesaving CPR/AED effort to revive a player that suffered sudden cardiac arrest while at practice. Johnson is a frequent clinician, speaker, author and his Wayzata Trojan Power program has been visited by over 50 other high school and small college programs. He also volunteered his time in the Rockford School District where he and his wife and four children reside by serving as the Rockford Area Youth Athletic Association President and Youth Football Director.