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Tim Weaver 07-14-2005 10:47 AM

I started the CF "beginners program" from CFJ #9, and am finishing up my second week.

I did a search to look for posts on how to increase the ROM in squats, but didn't find anything that explicitly helped.

Basically, I can barely go past parallel w/o either my heels coming up, my back rounding or some other issue that prevents me from maintaining proper form. I am doing about 35 pounds.

Any suggestions on stretches/exercises that might help with this?


bill fox 07-14-2005 10:54 AM

Over head sqauts with a broom.

Veronica Carpenter 07-14-2005 11:01 AM

practice squatting with your back against a wall trying to go deeper each time while keeping your heels on the floor and your back flat against the wall.

Eugene R. Allen 07-14-2005 03:41 PM

Hold on to something that won't move (weighted squat rack, truck bumper, elephant's leg) and go to a full squat using whatever you are holding on to for support. While in the bottom position figure out what it is that is tight...hips, lower back, calves, ankles...and sit deeper into the squat position by pulling yourself downward against the elephant's leg. If your ankle or calf is the culprit put the bottom of your foot against a wall and scoot your heel as close to the wall as possible. Now stand up and move toward the wall. You can also replicate the actual range of motion by putting one foot on a bench and then suspending all your weight on that foot in a deep squat. Another great one is to hold a light weight out in front of you at arms length...10 pounds or so...and go to a full squat. The weight will counter balance you and allow you to sit in the squat positon and stretch things out. Stand on two boxes with a space directly under you. Grab a dumbell and sit down into the squat allowing the weight to pull you down into the hole so to speak. The space between the boxes allows room for the weight to descend.

Those ought to keep you busy.

Pat Janes 07-14-2005 03:45 PM

I'll 2nd Bill's suggestion. I got my son (11) squatting well below parallel in pretty short time by getting him to warmup with sets of (among other things) OHS w/ a long stick.

For whatever reason, it seems to help you focus on form (back straight, body straight up/down, heels firmly planted, head looking straight/slightly up).

Prior to starting, Christopher couldn't even get to parallel in good form.

Lots of good stuff in the Dec '02 CF Journal about squat form as well.

Tim Weaver 07-14-2005 08:34 PM

Thanks all...I tried doing a wall-supported squat and just found myself at the bottom with all my weight on my back against the wall....obviously something wasn't moving/stretching.

These are all great suggestions. I will be doing these during the "off" times of the beginners workout. Even though I'll likely have to drop poundage once I can do a proper squat (from all I've read when i was searching), doing it the right way will be better in the long run.

Thanks again, all.

still knows squat

Veronica Carpenter 07-14-2005 09:05 PM

Tim, don't worry too much about your weight being against the wall, just concentrate on trying to push your hips farther down the wall. AND, Eugene has got some great pointers as well

Russ Greene 07-14-2005 09:26 PM

Stand facing a wall, about 5 feet back. Do a squat. Move a few inches forward. Do another squat. Repeat until you're too close to the wall to complete a full rep. When you fail it will be because of a lack of flexibility in your squatting chain, which causes either your knees or torso to go too far forward. This is a great warmup by the way. If you get to the point where you're doing this with you're feet against the wall, try it with a broomstick overhead. Facing-the-wall squats and overhead squats are a killer combination when it comes to improving squat form and flexibility; you can't do either well until you're flexible and have learned to rely on hip extension in your squats.

Previously Masquerading as Ross Greenberg

William Hunter 07-15-2005 05:27 AM

To paraphrase Coach Glassman: Spend a lot of time in the bottom, learn to love it down there.

Tim Weaver 07-15-2005 07:08 AM's what I've found....

When I try the OHS with a broom (actually, a 2" dia. closet rod), I get MAYBE to 45 degrees ABOVE parallel before I start to bend forward. I feel really tight in my lower back, just in the small-of-the-back area. I also feel it in my Achilles tendon and, surprisingly, in the muscle on the outside of my shins (the tibialis anticus, if I am looking at the correct one in my Gray's Anatomy).

When I try Eugene's suggestion of holding onto something while keeping back straight and squatting (by hooking my hands in my bathroom sink, standing very close to the cabinet then squatting), I feel it in my hips. Since I am not struggling to stay upright, I don't feel it in my back or as much in my shin.

Am I hopeless? Looks like a lifetime of desk-work and recliner living has caught up with me....

Veronica, when looking at your picture/avatar, in order for me to be that low I'd be on the balls of my feet (or "higher") to keep my back straight like that. To have my feet flat, I'd have to be leaning forward between my legs...if that makes any sense.

For my squats in the beginner's workout, I may just ditch the weight altogether and do my Bathroom Sink Squat (not to be confused with any other bathroom-based squats...).

knows much less than squat

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