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Is Your Rib Cage Flaring? Form and Function with Phil Janzen

Oct 01, 2012

Just got back from my visit with the Janzen brothers in San Antonio.  Over the week of my visit we had plenty of time to talk about training, program design, and ultimate.

I knew Alan from working with him on Skyd Magazine Expert Panels but this was the first time I'd met his brother Phil.  I'd been warned that Phil wouldn't talk to me much unless it was about training.  This was mostly true, but totally fine since when Phil does talk training it's pure gold.  I'll definitely be adding him to my arsenal of consultants.

Quick Story

I haven't been on an organized strength training program for the past few months because of some tissue quality/hip issues I've been trying to figure out (more on that later).   I've made a lot of improvement over the past few weeks so I was testing things out and doing some rehab exercises in the facility.  When I saw the trap bar just sitting there, I was overcome with the desire to lift something heavier than fifty pounds (which I had not done in about 4 months).  So I think I did maybe 2 sets of 8 reps with whatever weight was sitting on the bar (not much over 100 lbs).

Phil's Powers of Observation

Phil was busy with clients so I did not know he was aware of my messing around until about an hour later when he mentioned in passing.  You know, you were flaring your rib cage on your trap bar deadlifts.  Well crap...

I had been reading about the rib cage flaring issue on Cressey's blog just a few weeks before.  I remember thinking to myself, "I'm pretty sure I do that."  So while normally my ego would not have handled this well, I was ready to shut up and listen.  As an added bonus, Phil was nice enough to talk about this on camera and show you (and me) some great corrective exercise progressions.

Check out more from Phil and Alan at their blog on


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