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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-18-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
Lowell McDonald
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Squat help needed

I am a relatively new crossfitter and in intermediate weight lifter. I have convinced my wife to join me. We are working on her form on squating with a desire to start her into starting strength. Right now concentrating on air Squats.

Here's the problem: after about 6 weeks of training, she cannot get deep enough in her squat. When assisted - holding the squat rack - she can get down past parallel, but without the rack, she only gets to a partial squat.

She is somewhat fit, 41 years old, has just finished 4 rounds of p90x. So, she has the basic determination and athleticism, but is growing so frustrated that she may just quit squating and go back to her old "love" - Tony Horton.

Any ideas of what I can do to help her overcome this obstacle?
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Squat help needed

What is preventing her from doing a full squat? Pain? Range of motion of the joints? Flexibility? Feeling uncomfortable falling back? Has she done barbell squats or just air squats?

It would be great for you to get a video of her squatting.

My guess is that she is squatting mainly by knee bend and very little with hip bend. When people rely on the knee bend they really extend their knees forward and when this happens their thighs come forward blocking her upper body and hips from passing through the pelvis.

If this is the problem, I'd have her focus on sitting back not down, pushing her knees out like crazy when squatting (this opens up the pelvis so one can pass through instead of fold onto the pelvis/hips) and maybe widening her stance at first. Give her the cue of trying to keep her shins vertical (they don't need to be completey vertical but the que helps the person get comfortable sitting back more).

Now you say she can only do a partial squat, how does she sit down on the toilet?

If the above doesn't help, you might want her to work sitting back on a high box and then lower over time (but don't do this weighted until she can do a regular weighted squat to a reasonable depth on her own).

A video would be great.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Squat help needed

Kelly Starrett's mobility WODs will help. Or this video (WFS) from 70s Big which shows 3 of the best stretches for opening up hips and hamstrings for squatting or pulling.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:03 AM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Squat help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
Now you say she can only do a partial squat, how does she sit down on the toilet?
This analogy gets used a lot, and I'm getting really sick of it.

I'm short. I don't have to break parallel to sit on a standard toilet.

Furthermore, because the toilet is there, I don't have to maintain my balance, or even keep my feet on the floor. I certainly don't have to maintain my lumbar curve or keep my chest up. There are lots of ways in which one can be unable to do a proper squat without having any difficulty whatsoever on the toilet.

To the OP, if she can do it with support, it's probably a combination of balance and weak supporting muscles. Especially the former if she's otherwise able to stand and sit normally. You might try having her squat to a progressively lower box. That will give her a cue on where she needs to be, plus support so that she can figure out how to balance without worrying that she'll fall over.

Katherine
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
Lowell McDonald
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Re: Squat help needed

thanks so much for all the help.

@eric - great video on those stretches. they will be used immediately!

@katherine - good tip on the progressively lower box. and i totally get the problem with the toilet sit... maybe its just me, but don't we just usually "fall back" in those moments. seems to me like a very different movement.

will be trying to talk her into allowing me to post a video. it'll be a tough sell, but i'm going to give it a try!
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Squat help needed

I hope no one took offense to my toilet comment. I meant it more as a mental guide/cue to help people get the feel for sitting back instead of down. I'm pretty short too at 5'6", but sitting back for the toilet feeling can help those that get stuck squatting too forward.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:05 PM   #7
Jim Romagna
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Re: Squat help needed

Try goblets, I find them to be one of the best teaching tools for squat balance, and full depth
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:02 PM   #8
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Squat help needed

Second the goblet squat recommendation.

Also, http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/10/...eff-martin.tpl (WFS).

And, have you tried having her squat with weight?
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