|01-10-2014, 03:43 AM||#1|
"1500" by 2017
Join Date: Oct 2012
Training Exp: 17
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: Deadlifts
Fav Supp: Squats
Why everyone Squats Different....
There is absolutely no one size fits all squat position. If you don't believe me, you are in for a treat. This article will help show you why athlete comfort should dictate squat width, why people's feet point out (no matter how much "mobility" work they do), why some people have a really hard time squatting deep, and why some people are amazing at pistols while others can't do them at all.
The hip joint is basically made up of a "socket" on the pelvis (called the acetabulum) and a "ball" at the top of your thigh bone (femur), which we call the femoral head. Around the hip joint are a lot of muscles, a joint capsule, and connective tissue. There are many other anatomical considerations when considering a squat, but let's focus on the hip.
When someone has difficulty squatting, or their feet turn out, or they like a wide stance, we all want to jump on the hip mobility bandwagon and say "your hips are tight bro, you need to mobilize them". If we say that without considering anatomical variations of the hip joint, we can be seriously misled.
Let's take a look at this first picture. Here we have two femurs from two different people. One points more upwards, the other points more downwards. Do you think these people will squat the same when they have that much bony difference?
If you aren't convinced yet, take picture 2. Clearly one of the "balls" in the ball and socket joint is extended longer off the femur than the other. This will absolutely change the mechanics of squatting between these two people. No amount of lacrosse ball rolling will change that.
Now look at picture number 3. Look at how different the angle is that the ball is pointing between these two femurs. Guess what? One of these people will have a bony block when they try to squat narrow while the other can squat narrow like a champ. Alternatively, one will squat wide and the other will have pain with wide squatting. But doesn't the difference in the shape of the "ball" make that seem obvious? Maybe your piriformis isn't the limitation after all.
Things get even more interesting when you start looking at the socket. Take a look at picture number 4. On the left, you can see into the socket. This person will likely be able to squat with a narrow stance vs. the person on the right who literally run into themselves when squatting with a narrow stance and try to correct it with a banded hip stretch. No band is strong enough to change that.
Now look at picture 5. Again we see the difference in how much of the hip socket we can see. There is no way these two people will squat the same. The bony anatomy literally won't let them. It can't happen. Flossing this hip joint won't change the bony structure.
Picture 6 is a view looking at the hip socket from the side. One is pointing straight out, the other is pointing down and in the front. My guess is one of these people will be better at pistols and one will be worse, no matter how much mobility they do. Mobility work and lacrosse balls won't change your bony hip anatomy.
Athlete's won't squat the same, and they SHOULDN'T! I hope I shed some light on the WHY. Athlete comfort will dictate the stance that puts their hip in a better bony position. There are narrow squatters and there are wide squatters. That may have nothing to do with tight muscles or "tight" joint capsules and have EVERYTHING to do with bony hip anatomy.
Very few people are at the end range of their hip motion, so hip mobility drills are definitely a good idea.
People will express their hip mobility in different planes, and that is not a bad thing.
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Last edited by Ramrod; 01-10-2014 at 03:55 AM.
|01-10-2014, 04:21 AM||#2|
Join Date: Feb 2013
Very interesting! Thanks for posting this. I remember seeing something kind of similar wrt shoulder composition variations and overhead pressing, a while back.
I don't know how mah bonez are situated (or shaped), but it seems to be the case that I have very good flexibility overall (including at hip level), but I always end up squatting a bit narrower, and with knees less "sticking out" than one might expect.
So hey, maybe this is why!
|01-10-2014, 09:04 AM||#3|
Kettlebells' Angel !!!!
Join Date: Dec 2010
Training Type: Other
36.5 kg /80.3 lb Middle-Finger DL (right hand)...
|01-10-2014, 09:31 AM||#4|
I'm quitting next week!
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Cool post Ram, just full of info!
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|01-10-2014, 09:32 AM||#5|
Join Date: Mar 2013
Training Exp: not enough
Training Type: Fullbody
Fav Exercise: deadlift
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Babs, One of the books you recommend to me touches on this.
This subject is really interesting to me, as I have had lots of issues with my lower body flexibility. yet mri scans and physio cant find the root of issue
BTB helped me out with my squat issue, Squatting deep always aggravates knee issues, but just below parallel is my sweet spot.
same with martial arts, I trained under some great people, but even with their help, I couldn't get flexible, some kicking moments dont agree with my anatomy at all. things going better these days
Last edited by syn; 01-10-2014 at 10:02 AM.
|01-10-2014, 12:04 PM||#6|
Bigger, Stronger, BAMA!
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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Thanks Rammer. We needed that. Great post.
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(Yasen Miroslav Zavadil)
Getting focused to get better.
"If there is nothing you can improve on, your standards are too low!" - BAMA Strength Coach Scott Cochran
1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified
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|01-10-2014, 04:44 PM||#7|
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Richmond, VA
Training Exp: 4 years
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: Squat
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I am Anton Zdravko Martin!
Best meet lifts: Sq 150 Kg (330 lb), Bench 120 Kg (264), DL 160 (352) @89 Kg (197)
Best gym lifts: Sq 375, Bench 280 (pause), DL 385 @205 or less
Goals: 3/4/5 while healthy and fit
"Hack away at anything which isn't essential. Do what you love, and do it often." Fazc.
"Everything competes for recovery so more assistance is not always the best idea." miked96
"Squat:15 sets of 3 with 150Kg
Deadlift:15 sets of 3 with 150Kg
It's not rocket science." Big Swede
|01-10-2014, 07:07 PM||#8|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Hastings, Florida
Training Exp: 3.5 years
Training Type: Powerlifting
Fav Exercise: DEADS
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Another great read!
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Best Meet Lifts:
Squat = 330
Bench = 215
Dead = 375
Total = 904
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