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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-28-2007, 12:44 PM   #11
Matt DeMinico
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Here's a tip, we find it out in speedskating:

Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Put your hands together behind your back, and rest them on your back right about where your back and butt meet (it's a very comfortable spot, if you're there, you should be able to pretty much completely relax your arms when you're down in the position I'm about to show you). Now go about as low as you can go into the following position (except keep both feet on the ground) and keep bringing your butt farther and farther down, while keeping your hands on your back:

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/22/45172.jpg

Now, when you're at the lowest point you can get to, think about what it feels like, and then after a few seconds, let your hands go and hang free in front of you. You should feel like you can go a bit lower with your hands in front of you.

Basically, what I'm saying is, your shoulder and arm position can dictate how far down you can or can't get into a squat type position.

(Message edited by Matt_DeMinico on July 28, 2007)
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:08 PM   #12
Veronica Carpenter
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Ryan, Not sure what those 23 tips are in the CF journal. But here are a few of mine:

Think "arse back, shoulders back (pinch the scapula together) and proud chest.

There is a bit of forward lean when squatting, more so in back squats than front and overhead. Don't get to wrapped up with it unless your chest is resting on your quads in the bottom position.

Start from a sitting position, arch the back, keep it arched, now stand up. Practice starting from a lower and lower chair/stool/block.

Don't worry so much about knees going forward of the toes, but be sure the femur is pointing in the same direction as the toes.

If you rock back onto your heels and fall backwards, it's likely that you don't have your arse pushed back and your back arched enough.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:51 AM   #13
Damon Costantini
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My advice is to try a squat on a smith machine. I find it is just as effective and helps you work on form. I disagree that any form of squatting that has your knees cross your toes is okay.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:09 PM   #14
Veronica Carpenter
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Daman, you're new. We'll forgive that post for now.

Squatting on a smith machine is probably the worst you can do. You totally take eliminate the use of stabilizing muscles, the form is very restricted and sometimes tricky to get "just right," - the bar moves in a straight line - a bodyweight squat does not. The smith machine was designed for use in benching not squatting.

If you squat full range of motion - arse to ankles - ATG - you WILL inevitably find your knees moving forward of the toes.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:58 PM   #15
Damon Costantini
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Excuse me veronica, I'll put your condescending tone aside and say that you must have misunderstood me. I was saying that if the poster was having trouble with learning the squat form that you can learn on the smith, to squat and keep your knees behind your toes. I was not saying it's better. And I disagree that you need to squat arse to ankles. Parallel is all that is nessecary. I myself do free squats when performing crossfit workouts. But if one is having trouble learning form, the smith is a good option to learn in my honest opinion.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:17 PM   #16
Veronica Carpenter
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Damon, thanks for forgiving my tone.

I will still disagree, as will most CFer's, regarding learning to squat on the smith. Teach a person to stand from a sit then sit again. No need to complicate with a machine that forces you to conform to it's preset movement pattern. The best way to teach a person how to move their body is to teach them how to use the muscles necessary to move their body. Teach them to use a machine, they'll learn to use the machine - not their own body.

Most will also disagree that squatting to parallel is all that's necessary. Necessary for what exactly? Why limit your range of motion of you have more? Squatting arse to ankles takes stress of the knees and transfers it to the bigger stronger hips. If you have enough flexibility to do so - full range of motion is always better, IMHO.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:22 PM   #17
Lincoln Brigham
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Daman, the smith machine sets up so many bad habits it's hard to know where to begin to slag that waste of steel.

Here and on the NSCA CSCS forum folks have been known to go on and on for pages about problems with using the smith machine for anything but hanging towels. So don't get that started again.

If your coaching method requires you to use the smith machine to cue proper squatting technique, that may be fine for now but you'll need to quickly graduate to other, better coaching techniques. Perhaps the smith machine is a cueing technique you learned at a Big Box gym, but here those squat coaching techniques are considered immature and won't suffice for Crossfit. Do a search on this website and you'll find oodles of video and posts on teaching proper squatting technique and discussions of appropriate depth for squatting.

Hope that helps.

(Message edited by lincoln on July 31, 2007)
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:25 PM   #18
Damon Costantini
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i think these are all good points of contention, it just depends on what kind of client or athlete you are talking about
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:18 PM   #19
Damon Costantini
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I'm sorry, but I have seen too many clients and athletes graduate to a free standing squat by learnign on the smith and on a stability ball for me to cower back and say "you guys are right". I'm not trying to argue with anyone. My only point is that one can learn and develop the strength to keep themselves from falling forward when they squat and keep proper form by starting on a smith. Also, for a beginner client or someone looking to just develop strength and just be in good shape in general, all they'd need to do was go parallel. Squatting any further down would be reserved, in my opinion, for track athletes or olympians looking to develop some specific skill.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:19 PM   #20
Chris Walls
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Well until you can squat properly there's no sense adding ay weight on. So if using the smith machine is the only way you can squat safely and "properly" with weight, then you aren't ready for weight yet and body weight will suffice.

As for "only track and Olympic athletes" needing to squat below parallel, making parallel "good enough" for everyone else I have to ask why? In that regard you could say CrossFit is only for elite athletes, but the needs of elite athletes, normal people, elderly people, etc only differs in scale, not kind. Therefore EVERYONE squats all the way, track/Olympic athletes will just do it with a lot more weight, where "normal" people might be satisfied with body weight...

Just my $0.02CAD mind you...

(Message edited by chris_walls on July 31, 2007)
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