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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-08-2009, 05:29 AM   #1
Adam Carlson
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correct squats

I'm getting mixed messages all over the place on what the correct form for squatting is. It seems like there are a lot of small variations on the squat, and none seem to completely agree with each other.

I like Rip's videos on these things, but don't have US dollars to subscribe to CFJ and can't get my hands on his book and DVD. After reading and watching as much of his stuff as I could find, I tried on my own to do low-bar squats. They felt a lot more stable, I felt that it was more efficient, and it was a much more pleasant experience overall... except for my wrists and shoulders. From what I gather, the bar needs to come down lower on the back than the traditional squat form of resting the bar on the traps. When I did this, my shoulders felt slightly jacked backwards, and my wrists felt really strained after I'd finish a set. I was working with 135# just to get the form right.

Like I said, I like everything about the low-bar squat, except for the pressure on my shoulders and wrists. What am I doing wrong, am I totally not getting it, or is this something that my body will eventually adjust to? one more note: I had my thumb on the same side of the bar as the rest of my hand.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:50 AM   #2
Brian Bedell
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Re: correct squats

THose are not awesome excuses not to have the book/dvd. You can also look at the ****************wiki site. Otherwise, post a video in the "digital coaching" section.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:00 AM   #3
Adam Carlson
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Re: correct squats

not good excuses for not having the book...in Tokyo, Japan. if you want to fly me to the US, or to send me a copy, I'd be much obliged! :P

I'll need to see if I can get a hold of a camera and upload some vids.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:04 AM   #4
Scott Dyck
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Re: correct squats

The shoulder and wrist flexibility will improve with more practice and stretching. Is it bad enough that it keeps you from being able to squat the amount of weight that you want to?
I've watched all the videos I can find of Rip coaching beginners (I don't have the DVD so I can't speak to that) and he doesn't seem as concerned about the wrists being flat as depth and hip drive. It's something to definitely be mindful of and work towards, I still can't get mine as flat as they're supposed to be.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
Adam Carlson
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Re: correct squats

what do you mean by wrists being flat?

I did the first three sets today (I work out with some buddies as my extra 'sport' at the moment. Today was squats, deads, and light snatches) with the low-bar style, and they were fine aside from the afore mentioned discomfort. on the fourth set, things must have loosened up, since the bar started to slip down my back a bit I had my buddies pick the bar up off my back so that I could reset it. I was working with 135# so as to check form, depth, and try the new technique.

I guess I'll just keep practicing it, and see if things get better. I hope they do, I liked everything else about it!
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
Scott Dyck
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Re: correct squats

Wrists flat just means not cranked backwards, flat with the rest of your forearm. You're right to have a thumbless grip. If your shoulders loosened up, that's great. Flat wrists, keeping your elbows up and back, will press the bar into your traps and help keep it from sliding down your back.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
Thomas Green
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Re: correct squats

I used to ask myself the same question when I first started powerlifting and olympic lifting. Sometimes trainers would tell me my stance was to narrow while others told me it was too wide. Some told me my knees came too far forward while others told me they didn't come forward enough. Ideal form depends on which style of squat you choose to do though.

Traditional squat = Most people start out this way, but later progress to one of the methods below. Bar is placed high on the traps, with the focus on getting the hips back.

Texas squat = style that Rippetoe teaches(variation of the low bar squat). Bar is placed below the traps with the back tightly squeezed. Focus is driving the hips up on the ascent, with the knees slightly forward(around the toes)

Powerlifting style squat = Same low bar positioning as Rippetoe's, but the focus now is on taking a wider stance, getting the hips back as far as possible, and not allowing the knees to travel forward. The idea is to recruit the posterior chain as much as possible to allow for maximal weights

Olympic style squat = High bar squat, torso more upright, knees come farther forward. This allows the lifter to squat below parallel. Less posterior chain recruitment, but has more carryover to heavy cleans.

The 3 principals that crossfit emphasizes, hitting parallel, not rounding your back, and keeping the knees out are crucial to all of these variations of the squat though. So whatever one you choose, make sure you get those 3 things down first!

The Texas style is great for beginners looking to get posterior chain emphasis. Just really focus on allowing your back to do the work and not your wrists/shoulders. Make sure you're squeezing your shoulders together hard and finding that natural groove in your back. Keep doing deadlifts and pullups to put a little size on there and it'll feel more natural.

Last edited by Thomas Green : 05-08-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: correct squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
not good excuses for not having the book...in Tokyo, Japan. if you want to fly me to the US, or to send me a copy, I'd be much obliged! :P
How about flying me to Japan? I'll bring you a book.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:44 PM   #9
Adam Carlson
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Re: correct squats

Thanks everyone! Thomas, your explanations really helped, thanks for breaking things down.

@ Andrew

I would happily fly CrossFitters over to Japan, but don't have the $$$ or the еее to do so There is a CF affiliate in Okinawa, but I've never had the chance to go to Okinawa due to work and money Maybe someday! I'd love to get CF certified and open an affiliate on mainland Japan, particularly in Tokyo...
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:42 PM   #10
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: correct squats

I mean, I was kidding, but okay!
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