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Old 11-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
Trevor Ryan
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To lockout or not lockout on squats?

Hi Everyone,

I've read some conflicting info lately and want to get the communities take on this.

For squats I've always locked out at the top of each rep (ex. bringing my legs/knees into full lockout extension). I've read a handful of articles now that say that you should not do a full lockout extension because it is bad for your knees. They are suggesting to extend the legs, but not completely lock out the knees by maintaining a small degree of bend.

My question is, for knee and general safety, which is better? Any explanation furhter explaining why from a mechanical or other perspective is always appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
Greg Light
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Re: To lockout or not lockout on squats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Ryan View Post
Hi Everyone,

I've read some conflicting info lately and want to get the communities take on this.

For squats I've always locked out at the top of each rep (ex. bringing my legs/knees into full lockout extension). I've read a handful of articles now that say that you should not do a full lockout extension because it is bad for your knees. They are suggesting to extend the legs, but not completely lock out the knees by maintaining a small degree of bend.

My question is, for knee and general safety, which is better? Any explanation furhter explaining why from a mechanical or other perspective is always appreciated.

Thanks!

I always lock out and had never even thought about this. I will be interested to see what the responses are. Thanks for posting this question.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
Matt Thomas
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Re: To lockout or not lockout on squats?

I'll be interested too.

I'm not sure if locking out is "bad" from a mechanical standpoint or if it is just an argument that has grown from the time under tension ninjas. For bodybuilding it makes a lot of sense because they don't want to take the stress off the muscles, which they accomplish by never fully extending the legs. If one cares less about hypertrophy and more about performance in the lift then I think people generally lock out. That's at least how I've always viewed the argument and what I've seen in practice. It will be interesting to see if anyone can come up with any solid mechanical reason not to lock out.

On a side note I think there's a big difference between fully standing up and leaving a little cushion in the knee joint and really "locking" your knees to where they almost hyper extend, which I doubt anybody does. Just saying though.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
Clint Harris
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Re: To lockout or not lockout on squats?

I lock my knees out like I do when I simply stand up straight. To me, there is more tension on that joint when it is bent than when I'm simply standing like my legs were designed to do. It feels like a rest at the top rather than trying to either "lock" my knees with force or keep a slight bend .... but not too much to be "no repped" right. It's not squeezing your knee caps trying to make your legs lock .... they're just naturally locked out. Just stand - your legs will naturally straighten to support the weight. At least that's how I understand my legs to work. At the top of a rep it's no different than when I first unrack the weight and start the lift. I don't unrack and then either lock or bend my knees ... I just stand there (not noodle) with the weight on my back and will return there. I'm definitely not thinking about it ... where they'll track sure .... but this is probably the most thought I've given how locked or not my knees actually are. Definitely no bend on purpose and definitely absolutely not "forced lock". It may happen in an instant unintentionally, but I return to natural asap.


Let's put it another way ... when you do a heavy clean. At the top of your triple extension are you concerned about how locked or not your knees are ? I bet there's a ton of force in there when they're fired straight.

Last edited by Clint Harris; 11-07-2012 at 09:18 AM..
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