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Old 08-28-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
Jeff Hendrix
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Newbie with a squat problem

Hi all. As is apparent, I'm new here. I came across these parts somewhat by accident a couple of months ago and am quite thankful about it. I've been doing Rip's SS for about two months, more or less, gained 20 pounds, am working on losing some of the belly that was associated with that, and will be taking next week off completely to prepare for my switch-over to the WODs the week after.

I am still going to do some heavy lifting and such from week to week, and thus I wanted to ask about the infamous squat! I guess my biggest concern at this point are my knees (big surprise there, right?). I'm starting to believe that I am much weaker than I would care to admit and am trying to squat too much weight. Thus, when I do, I am shifting my drive from the bottom forward too much. I'm not coming up on my toes to be sure, but I am aggravating both of my knees when I come up (once I break back above parallel). The doc told me it is bursitis. The pain is sharp and localized on the outside and above the knee caps of both knees. It is below the end of the outer quadriceps muscle and it hurts more the deeper I go (it hurts just resting in a full squating-on-my-feet position) and the more I flex my knees outward. All I know is that, once I put about 155 on the bar, I am reaching the limit at which my body feels comfortable "sitting back." In other words, I feel like I am going to fall on my butt when I try to drive with my hips in both directions. So I compensate by doing something that is leading to me driving more with my knees. And this is about the point that my knees begin to hurt. I can do less with no problem. My hypothesis is that my form is failing at these heavier weights.

Does anybody have any insight into this? I'm hoping this next week off will help to clear it up. It has also hurt while swimming and running a couple of times. I was thinking it was ITBS, but my doc suggested otherwise. At any rate, any suggestions are much appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:57 PM   #2
Brian Degenaro
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

I've had the same thing. I busted up my knee tumbling in gymnastics and every now and then I get the same pain in my left knee. When this happens I found dropping heavy squats and doing a few sets of 10-20 squats (either high or low) with just the bar and no weight helps a lot. Focus on your form most of all. With this short microcycle I focus on unilateral and posterior leg work. Nothing heavy, just medium weights and perfect form. It takes me about 7 workouts before I begin to feel almost painfree and about another 3-5 before I am completely painfree. During this microcycle make sure not to do anything that aggrevates the knee.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #3
Neil Bauersfeld
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

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Originally Posted by Jeff Hendrix View Post

Does anybody have any insight into this? I'm hoping this next week off will help to clear it up. It has also hurt while swimming and running a couple of times. I was thinking it was ITBS, but my doc suggested otherwise. At any rate, any suggestions are much appreciated.
Hi Jeff,
I did the same thing, and it irritates my knees too. I posted to Rip on the ************ forum and he suggested that for me a more vertical shin might help. So, now my knees don't go out over my toes, but only travel forward out over the balls of my feet. Then as I reach back with my butt, I have to lean my torso forward a bit more in order to keep the barbell over my midfoot.

Once I got this straightened out, I had to reset my squat and build back up to previous levels.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
Jeff Hendrix
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

Neil, could you give me a link to that?

How do you keep more vertical shins?
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:03 PM   #5
Neil Bauersfeld
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

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Originally Posted by Jeff Hendrix View Post
Neil, could you give me a link to that?

How do you keep more vertical shins?
http://www.************.net/forum/sh...lar+irritation
(mostly wfs... a little foul language here and there).

Shins more vertical == knees don't travel forward as far at the beginning of the squat. It sounds as if your knees are also travelling forward at the bottom of the squat and that needs to be fixed by just not doing it. Think about driving your butt up, and pushing knees out to the sides.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:46 PM   #6
Jeff Hendrix
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

Thanks for the link. You know, I was actually doing just that until I went to CF in Huntsville, AL and paid for a training session, at which point he told me to take a more narrow stance. This could get confusing!

At any rate, I'll give it another go in about a week and see what happens.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:13 PM   #7
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

Are you sure you're going deep enough? Partial squats are hell on the knees. Personally, the deeper I go, the better my knees feel. It means less weight, but if I go without squatting for any period of time, my knees go to crap. You might want to post up a vid and see if anyone sees anything odd about your form in general.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #8
Jeff Hendrix
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

I'm positive I'm going low enough. If you notice in my first post, it hurts when I go all the way down into a resting position, so it's not a depth issue (at least in the regards you mentioned).

I will try and grab my roommates' camera when I get back to the gym and do that. All I have at home is my iSight on my Macbook and 65 pounds (I have a 15 pound bar and two 25 pound plates), which I can do all day without any problems, so I will have to wait until I can get some weight that taxes me before it will be worth making a video.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:26 PM   #9
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

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Originally Posted by Jeff Hendrix View Post
I'm positive I'm going low enough. If you notice in my first post, it hurts when I go all the way down into a resting position, so it's not a depth issue (at least in the regards you mentioned).

Like you said, the difference between a light/unweighted squat vs. a heavy squat can be pretty significant. Since many believe the half squat position to cause the most knee stress, stopping there on a heavy rep would be the most likely way to cause some injury there - even if "resting" and/or light squats are full and deep. Don't be offended, I'm just asking because I see it way too often. A vid of a heavy squat will help.

Either way, the prescription is likely reduced weight and increased reps, focusing on form. Rip's injury prescription, if you haven't seen it: http://************.net/forum/showthread.php?t=700
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
Jeff Hendrix
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Re: Newbie with a squat problem

No offense taken. I just didn't know if you had caught my initial statement is all. I'll keep working at it.
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