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Old 06-11-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
Greg Pellegrini
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Active Hip in Squats

I've been checking out videos on mobilitywod and one point Starrett keeps making is to have your feet pointed forward while squating. This goes against the "Active Hip" idea of Mark Ripptoe of pointing your feet out, which I believe is a key point in Crossfit.

So my question is this: is one better than the other or is it more of a personal preference?

Powerlifters seem to like feet forward and I find that during squats my feet usually end up turning out naturally, but I wanted to get an idea of what other crossfitters end up doing.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:40 AM   #2
Wayne Riddle
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Squatting Toes-Out (WFS)
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
Greg Pellegrini
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Thanks! That article answered all my questions. I guess some of Starrett's pointers are geared towards powerlifters.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #4
Aaron Gainer
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Pointed out, but not excessively!!!!!
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

I just spent most of the weekend with Rip. Again.

Rip and K-Star do not agree.

End of story.

Anyone who thinks they agree about this is wrong.

And, if you think that pointing your toes out 30 degrees, depending on anthropometry, is "excessive,' then you don't agree with Rip either.

Here's a really simple exercise. Stand up. Point your toes forward. Now, just unlock your knees and shove them out as hard as you can. Then, do the same exact thing with your toes pointed OUT. Tell me which is more effective for shoving your knees out. Here's a clue: it's not when your toes are pointed straight ahead.

Also, "Active Hip" and pointing toes out when squatting are not key ideas in CrossFit, especially not when the L1 cert teaches the squat using PVC.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:01 AM   #6
Preston Sprimont
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Pellegrini View Post

So my question is this: is one better than the other or is it more of a personal preference?
Though the question seems to have been adequately answered already, I'll chime in with my 2 cents.

It's personal preference.

There's nothing out there that I have encountered that really proves one way is better than the other (not to mention that the meaning of "better" most definitely varies from person to person).

Give both a try if you're curious, just don't be excessive in either direction and don't blow a knee.

I've seen videos/pictures of powerlifters squatting toes pretty much forward and read an article from Louie Simmons where he advocates toes forward. I've also seen videos/pictures of powerlifters squatting huge weight with their toes pointing waaayyy out. Same goes for olympic lifters. So...

For what it's worth, I prefer to squat with my toes pointing forward-ish (7-10 degrees) as K-Star suggests. And I haven't had any knee issues from that.
(Also, it should be noted that K-Star does not suggest squatting with a loaded barbell with your toes pointing absolutely forward at 0 degrees. He suggests 7-10 degrees. If he ever did say you should squat with toes absolutely straight forward, he has amended that in numerous new episodes of the mobilitywods where he addresses the toes-forward business more.)

Also, for what it's worth, I am definitely biased towards K-Star.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:25 AM   #7
Jon Campbell
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

My understanding of why KStar preaches toes forward is if your knee fails in then the damage will be much less significant then if your toes are out and your knee fails in. It is a more stable knee position with your toes forward. It is less likely that your knee will come in then with your toes out.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
Pat Sherwood
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

"Also, "Active Hip" and pointing toes out when squatting are not key ideas in CrossFit, especially not when the L1 cert teaches the squat using PVC."

Tamara, you seem rather unhappy and angry in the tone of your post and I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm incorrect, and if so, then sorry about getting the wrong vibe from your post. However, just so you know, your previous statement which I quoted is plain wrong. Also, it is devoid of fact. You are simply presenting your opinion as if it is true. Simply typing something on the internet does not make it a fact.

I always find it interesting that the use of a simple and effective pvc pipe to learn the basic mechanics of a movement can get under some folk's skin so badly. I'm going to guess from your post that you think using a pvc pipe is not an effective tool to learn a squat, or a press, or whatever. If that is your view, then cool, rock on. However, it has been my experience that thousands of athletes have learned the basics they needed to be exposed to with pvc pipe. Many of these same athletes are now monsters with the squat, press, dead, jerk, snatch, etc. They just used common sense and a crawl, walk, run approach. After the basics were established with a pvc, then a light bar was used, then a heavier bar, etc, etc.

I teach at the L1's for a living, so I know what are key points.
Thanks,
Pat
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:04 PM   #9
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Sherwood View Post
"Also, "Active Hip" and pointing toes out when squatting are not key ideas in CrossFit, especially not when the L1 cert teaches the squat using PVC."

Tamara, you seem rather unhappy and angry in the tone of your post and I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm incorrect, and if so, then sorry about getting the wrong vibe from your post. However, just so you know, your previous statement which I quoted is plain wrong. Also, it is devoid of fact. You are simply presenting your opinion as if it is true. Simply typing something on the internet does not make it a fact.

I always find it interesting that the use of a simple and effective pvc pipe to learn the basic mechanics of a movement can get under some folk's skin so badly. I'm going to guess from your post that you think using a pvc pipe is not an effective tool to learn a squat, or a press, or whatever. If that is your view, then cool, rock on. However, it has been my experience that thousands of athletes have learned the basics they needed to be exposed to with pvc pipe. Many of these same athletes are now monsters with the squat, press, dead, jerk, snatch, etc. They just used common sense and a crawl, walk, run approach. After the basics were established with a pvc, then a light bar was used, then a heavier bar, etc, etc.

I teach at the L1's for a living, so I know what are key points.
Thanks,
Pat
Pat,

I am not unhappy or angry. My intent was just to clarify the difference between what "Active Hip" means as defined by Mark Rippetoe and what is taught at the CrossFit Level 1 cert.

Active hip involves:
1. Actively placing your external rotators into contraction
2. Actively engaging your adductors in the squat
3. Actively squeezing your spine into extension
4. Actively getting your femurs out of the way by shoving your knees out

The toes out stance - meaning a toes out position that is usually in excess of what most people would automatically assume when squatting - is crucial because it allows you to do all of the above things more than a toes forward position does (special emphasis on engaging your adductors).

I am, in fact, CrossFit Level 1 certified, and the CrossFit Level 1 cert does not explain the importance of a toes out stance in this manner. That is not to say that the CrossFit Level 1 is WRONG about this. It is simply not addressed in the same way at all. If it were, then everyone would leave the Level 1 cert squatting the same way, and that is not the case.

In terms of the PVC pipe statement, I am just going to have to do what you suggested and "rock on." Because I do not believe that PVC is an effective teaching tool, and I do not think that using it to coach barbell lifts is common sense. There are many, many reasons why I believe what I do, and I am happy to elaborate on them if necessary.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
I am not ... angry.

I very much doubt that.
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