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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:57 PM   #1
John Frank Adam
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fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

hey guys and gals,
So I started getting back into working out, doing 5/3/1 and some basic metcons at a globo, and I was also playing sports frequently and running semi frequently. I had some shin pain that ended up being patellar tendonitis in both of my knees. I noticed my knees would act up especially while squatting. Basically I want to fix my squat from the beginning, so I have been working on my air squats following kelly starretts supple leopard book. my concern is whenever I put a bar on my back (doesn't matter how heavy or light), my knees always go in front of my toes. a bunch of things run through my mind like lack of flexibility, lack of strength in the glutes. What would you recommend?

Last edited by John Frank Adam : 12-12-2013 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

Post a vid.

A lot of the time people who extend over their knees don't bend at the hip/sit back enough.

Try starting the squat by pushing your butt back/bending at the hips first then let the knees bend. If your knees are still going beyond your toes, push the hips back even more before bending the knee etc.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

Your knees will go over your toes in a squat if you go deep enough.

Switch to a PL squat or squat just parallel or high.

Or just lunge.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
Struan Potter
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

Your knees will go in front of toes if you squat deep. Keep the load in the middle of your foot.

To help with knee pain, kneel on the floor and lean back. Like in the photo below. Chances are you won't get that far back without overextending your spine. Go as far back as you can while keeping your spine neutral.

http://www.sportivnypress.com/docume...retching_5.jpg WFS
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:15 AM   #5
Glenn Plomchok
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
Post a vid.

A lot of the time people who extend over their knees don't bend at the hip/sit back enough.

Try starting the squat by pushing your butt back/bending at the hips first then let the knees bend. If your knees are still going beyond your toes, push the hips back even more before bending the knee etc.
You describe me to a "T" when I started squatting...short of it, work on mobility (hips especially for me) and orienting butt back helped me a ton. Took a while to be comfortable in deep squat position but it happened
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #6
Theresa Stephens
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

You can also do banded squats. This has really helped folks in my gym who have this issue. Wrap a band around a vertical length of your pull-up rig at about hip level (just like you wrap it for a banded pull up), step into it like a pair of pants and situate it around your hips, and lean into it as you sit back in the hips first.

A good video demonstrating this: http://youtu.be/LoHpbVRSzv0 (wfs)
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

Video is best but....

I see this in people who are not skilled in operating the hip, knees and ankles separately. We want people to initiate the squat by sending the hips back and down. There is little or no bend in the ankle in the beginning.

You have to bend you ankles to get you knees too far forward.

Squatting to a wall ball (or other soft target) can be a good trick to learn this movement. If you let you knees slide forward right away you can't squat to the wall ball because you will be in front of it.

Take you normal squat stance but centered in front of the wall ball. Align the back edge of your heels at the front edge of the wall ball (will actually be wider then wall ball but imagine extending a line left and right from the front edge of the wall ball your heals should be just touching that line). Then practice touching your gluts to the ball in the bottom of the squat. Then practice with a bar then weight.

This will fix the problem you are describing for a lot of people.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #8
Andrew Wiemken
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

Like others said, the knees are just going to extend beyond the toes in a full depth squat, regardless of mobility or form, so don't worry about the knee tracking in itself. If forward knee tracking is a problem for you, then it's probably due to poorly balanced musculature, specifically relatively weak hips and hamstrings. Make sure your hips and especially your hamstrings are strong, and do as others have said and make sure you know how to use your hips to squat. It sounds like you were doing knee-bend-dominant squats and placing a lot of stress on the joint, if it was in fact squatting that contributed to the tendonitis.

It may be a good call to work exclusively on hip-dominant exercises, especially hip-dominant squatting styles, until you have developed the musculature and motor patterns necessary to work towards getting your depth down to full. Box squats, initiated by pushing the hips back, with a wide stance, and a vertical shin and fairly forward-leaning torso, will do the best job of minimizing forward knee tracking, and will also develop strength in the glutes and hamstrings, which is crucial for proper squatting. Box squats are a go-to step in teaching proper squatting mechanics. Just make sure you're doing it right. There are plenty of sources on the internet regarding this. The main point is to really get a feel for that tension in the hips, and to not rock forward, or lose tension on the box, or cheat the exercise otherwise. It has to be a hip-extension-dominant lift. Glute-ham raises are never a bad call, and RDL's are another great exercise (work into these gradually though or suffer the soreness).

Also, always always always work on hip mobility. Never enough.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:44 AM   #9
Patrick Rushbrook
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

The single most helpful piece of advice I've read was in Kelly Starrett's book. He said to load the hamstrings first, which I think is essentially what Mr Fabsik (and others) said above. Bend at the hips just the slightest bit before letting the knees break, and keep that core and shoulders active and tight as a drum. REally overemphasize it too. I'm no squat expert but this helped me IMMENSELY in trying to stay back with the heels taking most of the load. I really recommend getting his book (becoming a supple leopard) and reading about each of the lifts. It's extremely helpful.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
Chris Mason
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Re: fixing my squat from square one, knees in front of toes problem

The cue is to sit back a bit. If you are free squatting using an Olympic stance your knees will go forward a bit, but the key is to minimize that for long term knee health.
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