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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 04-19-2005, 02:12 AM   #1
johnatan pladott
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I ran a search in this message board but did not find a related message:
when I squat (air squats), I try to "drive off my heels" with the result that I stagger backwards at the upright end of the squat. what am I doing wrong?
I also try to keep my shins upright/not extend the knees beyond my toes, even though looking at the squat demos on the CF site, the squatter DOES bend his knees forward. would doing this solve my backward stagger?
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:28 AM   #2
Peter Galloway
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Johnatan,

Yes! You don't have to keep your shins upright. Do try to drive through the heels though.
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:09 AM   #3
Mike Donnelly
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Crossfit Journal #4 is called "Squat Clinic." I find it indispensible (or however that's spelled). I refer back to the guidelines before each squat-heavy workout. Good form reaps benefits in terms of better workout times, more efficient functional movements, as well as injury prevention.

Mike Donnelly
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:57 AM   #4
Donald Woodson
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Try widening your stance and angling your toes out a little more.
Think bullfrog. :happy:
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:51 AM   #5
Frank C Ollis
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Johnatan,
Donald is dead on. Your foot placement will vary from person to person, due to individual biomechanics. Throw about 50lbs on a bar and play around with your foot angle and distance.
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:52 AM   #6
Keith Wittenstein
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John

With the heels on the floor sit down between your legs. The knees will come forward over your toes and should be in line with the toes. Don't have your toes pointing in a different direction from your knees. As you get more flexible you will be able to pull your tailbone down between your heels. Keep the back straight and look forward. If you look down your head will follow and your shoulders will hunch forwards. As you stand up try to drive thru the heels. Do not lean forward and stick your butt back. Stand up straight.

The falling back occurs when you have dropped your head too far forward and try to correct it as you drive down into you heels. You will thrust the hips forward and your head will instinctively move back pulling you off balance. Instead, try to press your legs straight down thru the floor and push the top of your head through the ceiling. The knees and hips should take care of themselves that way. Also think about jumping straight up while pushing off your heels.

See if that helps
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:54 AM   #7
johnatan pladott
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donald, that's a "powerlifting squat" which most internet sources discourage, unless you're in competition. I think they site lateral pressures on the knees.
Mike, I am trying to get around ordering yet ANOTHER CF journal before I use all other options.
Peter, some internet sources ( mainly "Dr. Squat" http://www.drsquat.com/index.cfm?act...e&articleID=23) discourage extending the knees in front of the feet. however, ExRx site quotes the same Dr. Hatfield as saying the opposite...(http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Squats.html) \clipart
{crazy} I think I WILL let my knees go forward on strength of the CF slideshows.
if anybody knows otherwise, call out.
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Old 04-19-2005, 07:38 AM   #8
Ryan Atkins
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Johnathon,

CrossFit advocates using a squat that's slightly lower than parallel. Given the depth of our squat it's very hard from a physics standpoint to maintain balance without letting your knees drift slightly past the toes. Please forgive the crudeness of my illustrations:

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/22/9456.jpg

The figure on the left has his shins perfectly vertical. Can you see how it looks as if he's about to fall on his ***? Unless he leans further forward so his head is out past his feet (not desirable), he will fall on his ***. The figure on the right shows the proper squat with the knees slightly past the toes. Note that you can draw a vertical line from the center of the head to the ground and that it will be roughly over the center of the foot (wiggle those toes). This same relationship exists between the head and foot while one is standing, and should be maintained throuhout the entire squatting movement (CFJ - ears move in a vertical path).

While recognizing the necessity of having our knees bend over our toes, it's important not to FOCUS on this movement but to DELAY it as long as possible. To do otherwise would potentially violate our capacity to drive through our heels and to send our butt/hipps back and down. Both of these can lead to muted hip function, something we definately don't want.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 04-19-2005, 07:47 AM   #9
Ryan Atkins
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Another thing I forgot to mention is the wall drill. Stand about a foot away from the wall and perform an air squat. If you can do this comfortably without hitting your head or your knees on the wall then scoot forward a little bit. Eventually your toes should be about an inch or two from the wall and still be able to sqaut comfortably. This drill will allow the proper amount of knees over toes bending while simultaneously preventing you from using it excessively to compenstate for a potential lack of flexibility in hips/ankles. To avoid falling backwards during this drill, practice near a doorway frame so you can catch yourself if you begin to lose your balance.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:42 AM   #10
Gary John
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I finally figured out the overhead squat. Cheat a little bit. Get more "frog", let the knees come forward, wider stance, whatever. Then,clean it up. I too, was trying to force my body into "perfect form". Flexibility is very important. My magic moment, was watching some videos of a group of powerlifters. They were squatting huge numbers, but,I swear their legs were spread about six feet. Aha, maybe I should widen six inches and the world won't come to an aned.
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