Back Squats, First Step Quickness & Off-Season Glory

Back Squats, First Step Quickness & Off-Season Glory

Let’s do a bit of “Q&A” action today.

First question…

QUESTION: Yunus, I notice you don’t include barbell back squats in your training programs. Why?

YUNUS: The back squat is a good exercise, don’t get me wrong.

What makes it problematic for many is that they don’t possess the mobility to hit proper depth (crease of hip below knee) without their low back rounding over.

Putting a heavy barbell on someone’s back when their lumbar spine enters flexion increases injury risk too much for my liking.

My job is to make guys strong, yes.

But I’m also responsible for keeping each of my athletes healthy. So they don’t miss practice or games.

And if you want to know how to get freaky strong without nasty injuries, check out my off-ice training system Next Level Hockey Training (

Next question…

QUESTION: Best way to gain first step quickness on the ice?

YUNUS: This one’s easy, chief.

– heavy lower body exercises
– Olympic lifts
– jumps
– short sprints

Okay, one more…

QUESTION: Yunus, love your stuff.

I’m a Jr. A player in Ontario, Canada and looking to go pro or semi pro next year, so your training methods are helping me to get to my dream.

I have four months in the off-season to prepare for that higher level. How should I train?

YUNUS: Sounds like my off-ice training program Next Level Hockey Training would be the perfect solution for you.

It’s a scientifically planned system where every exercise, set and rep has been laid out for you through the entire summer.

I’ve used it to create some strong, jacked dudes who went on to play the best season of their career.

You could be next.

More details at:

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Yunus Barisik

Yunus Barisik, CSCS, specializes in making hockey players strong, fast and explosive. He has trained 500+ hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including T Nation, STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.

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