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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-23-2013, 10:01 AM   #1
Sean E Wright
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Teaching the Squat

One of my young soldiers continually squats on his toes with a lot of forward movement of his knees to the point where I really can't have him squat without it potentially causing some knee issues. I think a lot of it has to do with poor proprioception.

I've tried I've incoorporated some agility work (Ladder drills, Dot Drills), bar holds and box squatting. I've also put in some work on glute/hamstring and mobility. Some days he'll do decent squats and others it's terrible. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
Eric Shuty
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Re: Teaching the Squat

I know you mentioned box squats but I used to take it a step further. When I was a trainer I found that the simple body weight squat was one of the most unnatural movements for the average person. So, I would take a DB (size varies based on persons height) and set it up on its side, making a tiny little "box" for box squats. Sit it far enough behind him that he really has to reach back with his butt in order to make contact. Make him start with air squats and move up from there. Do every set this way, every time until the movement is automatic. It takes thousands of repetitions for a pattern to become muscle memory. Eventually, start removing the DB on the last 2 sets or so and tell him to imagine the DB there and use the same form he has been using. Make sure he keeps chest out and eyes up the whole time. Bottom line it just takes time and patience.

Last edited by Eric Shuty; 02-23-2013 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Teaching the Squat

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Originally Posted by Sean E Wright View Post
One of my young soldiers continually squats on his toes with a lot of forward movement of his knees to the point where I really can't have him squat without it potentially causing some knee issues. I think a lot of it has to do with poor proprioception.

I've tried I've incoorporated some agility work (Ladder drills, Dot Drills), bar holds and box squatting. I've also put in some work on glute/hamstring and mobility. Some days he'll do decent squats and others it's terrible. Anyone have any ideas?
does he do it with just barbell back squats? have you tried OHS, front squats, goblet squats, holding a plate in front of him at arms length, or squats holding dumbells at his side? as eric said, what do bodyweight air squats look like? does hand position on air squats make a difference? this things can quickly help you to figure out if the issue is form, legs, back, balance, etc. also, what type of shoes is he wearing? have you tried lifting shoes? barefoot? a weight plate under the heels? wearing combat boots? have you tried changing between LBBS and HBBS? have you tried different feet widths and toe angles? have you tried different hand positions and widths on the bar - often times coming forward is due to upper body mobility and can be fixed with wide hands or a thumbless grip. give all these things a shot over a few workouts and you can figure out where the issue is really at. also, if you can find something that works, that may be all it takes for it to "click" in this guys head.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:23 AM   #4
Sean E Wright
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Re: Teaching the Squat

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Originally Posted by Andrew N. Casey View Post
does he do it with just barbell back squats? have you tried OHS, front squats, goblet squats, holding a plate in front of him at arms length, or squats holding dumbells at his side? as eric said, what do bodyweight air squats look like? does hand position on air squats make a difference? this things can quickly help you to figure out if the issue is form, legs, back, balance, etc. also, what type of shoes is he wearing? have you tried lifting shoes? barefoot? a weight plate under the heels? wearing combat boots? have you tried changing between LBBS and HBBS? have you tried different feet widths and toe angles? have you tried different hand positions and widths on the bar - often times coming forward is due to upper body mobility and can be fixed with wide hands or a thumbless grip. give all these things a shot over a few workouts and you can figure out where the issue is really at. also, if you can find something that works, that may be all it takes for it to "click" in this guys head.
Eric-I'm going to try the squatting down to a dumbell. When I have him squat on a box it is too easy to basically sit down and then get up.

Andrew-I'm going to try mixing it up a little bit. I've been sticking with air squats and hbbs. I've had him try taking his shoes off and also doing goblet squats. I'm going to mix in everything else you've suggested and see what takes. I know that it took me a year to understand good nuetral lumbar positioning until finally someone explained it in just the right way and it clicked.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:22 AM   #5
Kevin Bowman
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Re: Teaching the Squat

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Originally Posted by Sean E Wright View Post
Eric-I'm going to try the squatting down to a dumbell. When I have him squat on a box it is too easy to basically sit down and then get up.

Andrew-I'm going to try mixing it up a little bit. I've been sticking with air squats and hbbs. I've had him try taking his shoes off and also doing goblet squats. I'm going to mix in everything else you've suggested and see what takes. I know that it took me a year to understand good nuetral lumbar positioning until finally someone explained it in just the right way and it clicked.
Can you try squatting to a wallball?
And how low is he going? Is it perhaps a depth issue (going too far losing the lumbar) causing the slide forward and into the toes

I ask since I am that guy. It is a constant battle for me to not be that way, regardless of the squat (air, front, OHS, back). In 2013, I am planning to focus much more on technique and this is key for me. "Weight in the heels" is something I need to come naturally and not through reminding myself every.single.rep.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Teaching the Squat

We use a pair of 2 foot pieces of 2x6 (anything light that can be knocked over will work). We have the person take a correct foot position, then balance the boards on end about an inch in front of the toes.

The instructions are simple. Don't knock over the boards with your knees as you squat. Can be combined with squatting to a target.

Also make sure he understand correctly how to turn his knees out between ankle and pelvis.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Teaching the Squat

here is an article about feet position...

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf...tarr_FINAL.pdf

link WFS


also, try having him squat in boots w/ heel. or place a plate under his feet. there is a reason people wear lifting / oly shoes. running shoes not good b/c they are soft, but have a raised heel can help. alot of military guys especially have really tight lower legs b/c of too much jogging.

possible that his is also trying to keep his upper body too upright. make sure he knows it is ok to lean forward, this helps get the butt back and keep knees in line. it is much more important to keep lower legs upright then upper body. LBBS can help with this alot.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
Darryl Shaw
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Re: Teaching the Squat

Zombie squats are probably the quickest way to fix poor squat form.

Start with something really light like a broom stick or pvc pipe that'll move easily if he comes up onto his toes. Then have him work on sitting back into the squat with his weight on his heels while keeping the bar parallel to the ground and as still as possible. Once he's comfortable with that move on to lightly loaded barbell front squats then gradually reintroduce high bar back squats.

Also, have him practice zombie squats as part of his warm up as this will help reinforce good technique.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
Kevin Bowman
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Re: Teaching the Squat

Here are some examples for me:
(All Work Safe)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svTrESvYanA = 285# front squat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J0cTH8Wxno = 245# OHS Fail (Yes, Press Grip. I have a very difficult time push pressing much behind the head and I refuse to reset my hands overhead)
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:27 PM   #10
Scott Santilli
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Re: Teaching the Squat

Hi guys,

I am essentially new to the fitness arena and I am trying to work on my squat technique. I've been at it for about a month or so, and the squat feels pretty unnatural for me. I feel like my technique is not good because I'm not feeling my posterior chain firing very well, but rather a lot of stress in the hip flexors and lower quads. The trainer that I've worked with some said that perhaps I'm "quad dominant". When I practice squat technique, I often feel that significant strain in the hip flexors and that I'm going to lose my balance and fall backwards as I get lower. Holding my arms out in front helps with the balance, but I still don't feel my posterior chain firing. It's particular worse with the back squat with the bar. I reviewed everything posted here, I just wanted some more opinion..I know obviously it's hard to know what's wrong, as you can't physically see me. I just wanted to see what thoughts you guys have. Thank you.
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