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Old 09-07-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Default Squat Myth

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Myth #2 When you perform the squat just bend your knees and go down.

If you bend the knees first, it limits the hip's freedom of movement. All the force is felt in the knees, and you will find yourself in a very awkward position on the balls of your feet. When performed properly the squat should start by gliding the hips backwards before the knees break. This is done while keeping the torso upright and is not simply a lean forward (Chandler, Wilson & Stone, 1989).

It should be similar to sitting in a chair especially a low chair. This posterior movement actually helps you get the weight over the arch of your foot. Having the weight on the toes or heel of the foot will affect muscle function and balance. This weight positioning becomes even more crucial when you reach the bottom of the squat.

As the top of the thigh reaches a parallel to the floor position or below it is now time to come up. If the weight is forward on the toes, there is a tendency for the hips to rise up faster than the shoulders, leaving you in a potentially poor leverage position. This situation is when the squat becomes a good morning exercise. The opposite result of having the weight in the heel will leave you stuck at the bottom position or on your backside due to the balance problem.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Nice find Steve. Biggest coaching cue for me at the start of the squat is to arch the back, get set and then sit BACK!

The other advantage to doing this is you get to use your posterior chain to help out your quad's. Narrow stance, knee heavy squats are all quad'.

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Old 09-07-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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Nice read and I completely agree. When I was coaching my friend today I definitely made sure that he broke at the hips before bending the knees, so he moved in more of a sitting back motion than a scrunching up one, if that makes sense. Something I personally have to work on as I have a real tendency to lean forward like it says in the article when squatting near and at my 1RM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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This is why the box squat is a good teaching tool. People think about sitting back/down.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Agreed, which is why I've just started doing them. Really allows one to focus on driving with the chest up.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Outside of this, I see a lot of folks who squat toes out and knees in. This might only be by a minor amount, but it limits depth just the same. This is like trying to squat with a built in auto-breaking system. You reach a certain depth and instead of being able to sink properly the body leans forward.

Add is a small gut and you double the trouble.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Add is a small gut and you double the trouble.


or a large gut like me, and you'll be in even bigger trouble.. lol
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #8
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I was being nice to myself by using "small".
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #9
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Good find! Thanks for sharing!
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Quote:
Myth #8 Squat slow
Actually the way to squat is with controlled speed. The control relates to your ability to maintain correct posture during the entire movement. McLaughlin (1989) suggests that more experienced squatters lower their squat at speeds under 2 miles per hour or 2 feet, 10 inches per second. He recommends that 1 mph is better and that would be around 1.5 feet per second. So if you are about 6 feet tall, a full squat could have the bar traveling around 3 feet in distance. You would want to lower the bar down to parallel in a range of one to two seconds. I am more of a 1 second fan, but I feel that that speed plays a big role in athletic development. On the ascent you should move the bar as fast as you can with control. Your ability to maintain posture will always determine your speed.

Now that the uncertainty has been laid to rest lets get after squatting like Milo did with that calf. Keep in mind what we covered. The squat when performed correctly is not hazardous to the knees or back and won't give you a big butt unless you already have one. When you do squat make sure you determine the proper foot placement, stance and bar placement before going under the bar. When the bar is in it proper position, elevate the elbows, lift the chest up and glide back putting the weight in the arch. Take the bar down in 1-2 seconds in a controlled manner maintaining the posture of the torso. Once you hit parallel or below explode back up maintaining your posture and balance until you finish the rep. The squat is a great exercise for the legs and in the words of my lifting coach Phil Pelura "you are only as strong as your legs". Until the next issue stay strong!
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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I saw a dude in the gym yesterday doing deadlifts really slowly, for both the concentric and eccentric parts of the lift. I prefer pulling AS HARD AS I CAN off the floor, seems to help my max lift anyway! Agreed in regards to squats. it's all about controlling that descent, getting the stretch reflex at the bottom and BOOM flying up. Or rather... standing up slowly as the weight tries to crush you...
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