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Veronica Carpenter 02-25-2005 10:08 PM

Squatting on the toes with the heels raised is NOT the proper way to squat. Try that with a 1RM, or with a squat snatch or clean, and you'll fall forward. Squatting 'heels through the floor' keeps you balanced when done '*** to the floor'

Love the pics Lincoln posted - squatting like the natives. he he. It comes naturally as toddlers/young children, but somewhere along the line people have gotten lazy and forget how to squat to pick up things. Oh yeah, and the chair was invented. I don't think many people in 3rd world countries have that luxury, so squat they must.

As far as increasing flexibility, try stretching in a squat position against a wall, gradually going progressively deeper each time you stretch, concentrating on keeping your heels down and your back flat against the wall.

Train Hard, Train Smart!

Veronica Carpenter 02-25-2005 10:13 PM

Oh, forgot to add: not everyone can squat to the floor, even with the heels down and with enough hip flexibility. You still have to be able to keep your back position without letting your tail 'tuck' under your hips. So, it's a matter of hip, ankle AND back flexibility.

Seth Drown 02-26-2005 07:19 AM

Here's another excellent (and humorous) illustration of Lincoln's point:

Watch the movie.

Robert Wolf 02-26-2005 07:45 PM


That was Awesome!!!

Brandt Stickley 02-27-2005 04:00 AM

That video was priceless! I lived in China and Japan and picked up the habit early. One of my acupuncture teachers said, "it re-arranges the architecture of your pelvis." And there are other health advantages to be had... That gives new meaning to GTG.

John Phipps 02-27-2005 08:48 AM

Thanks for the link Brandt. That site is unique. It does make sense. There is much discussion here about diet and the food we should or should not eat. But what about the elimination of that food? We discuss exercise and recovery, work and rest, why not talk about ingestion and excretion? I did not imagine when I got on CrossFit this morning I would be learning about the squat toliet.

chris muscarella 02-27-2005 02:48 PM

On the squat with the heel raised: Pavel Tsatsouline had an interesting comment, which I believe was found in his new book. He was speaking of the kettlebell hack squat (where the heels do come way up), and what he said was: with light weights such as are possible in the hack squat (I believe Hackenschmidt's record was ~150lbs) that the alignment is not problematic for healthy knees. However, if you try and back squat with that type of alignment and poundages closer to 300lbs, you are looking for a quick trip to an orthopedic doctor.

On the relation of ankle dorsiflexion to hip flexibility: they are often related. A test of hip flexibility: if you can lay on the ground and bring one of your knees to your chest than your hips have absolutely full range of motion. If not, get working on it. To be able to hold a rock-bottom squat with a perfect arch sitting bolt upright requires a harmonious blend of ankles, hip, and hamstring flexibility. It can be attained in 4 months for those with a will. The 'cossack' stretch is extremely helpful as is something called a 'crawling lizzard'--both out of Pavel's Relax into Stretch.

Veronica Carpenter 02-27-2005 04:24 PM

Chris, can you describe the 'cossack' stretch and 'crawling lizzard' or link to a reference? thanks!

chris muscarella 02-27-2005 05:14 PM

Veronica, see the photos below:

The Cossack


The Lizard

Veronica Carpenter 02-27-2005 07:04 PM

WOW! That lizzard stretch is wild! Thanks!

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