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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
Robert Callahan
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Joe Cavazos View Post
Squatting with the knees out is obviously stronger, so why do we unconsciously bring the knees in when coming up from a heavy squat?
There is nothing unconscious about it. Gravity is pulling us down with the force of the weight on our shoulders. This causes the knees to collapse down and in and why we must consciously fight to keep them out.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:16 PM   #12
Joe Cavazos
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
There is nothing unconscious about it. Gravity is pulling us down with the force of the weight on our shoulders. This causes the knees to collapse down and in and why we must consciously fight to keep them out.
I guess I get what you're saying, which is that the knees are mechanically predisposed to being moved in when placed under a load.

My confusion comes from the fact that, in most cases, form breaks down to make our job easier. Leaning back in a Press, tilting forward during a Front Squat, rounding the back in a Deadlift (easier for that rep, anyway), snaking during a Push-up, putting hip into a bicep curl, etc (excluding the highly-technical Olympic Lifts). Though in this case our bodies aren't moving our knees in to make things easier, it's an unintended consequence of the weight being too heavy.

Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:41 PM   #13
Robert Callahan
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Joe Cavazos View Post
I guess I get what you're saying, which is that the knees are mechanically predisposed to being moved in when placed under a load.

My confusion comes from the fact that, in most cases, form breaks down to make our job easier. Leaning back in a Press, tilting forward during a Front Squat, rounding the back in a Deadlift (easier for that rep, anyway), snaking during a Push-up, putting hip into a bicep curl, etc (excluding the highly-technical Olympic Lifts). Though in this case our bodies aren't moving our knees in to make things easier, it's an unintended consequence of the weight being too heavy.

Thanks.

None of the compound lift form break downs you mention are to make the work any easier. Au contraire they actually make it more difficult. All of those things happen when the musculature can no longer support the load and start to give out. Rounding of the back in the DL causes a great loss of force transfer from the legs through the spine down to the weight because some of your legs pushing is being absorbed by the back rounding. Same thing with rounding back on FS, you are not collapsing froward because it is easier, it is because the muscles are giving out, and in fact makes the lift more difficult by reducing force transmission to the bar (same as in DL) as well as moving the weight further away from the spine thus increasing the torque on the upper back and straining the failing muscles even more. Leaning back in the press is the same thing, the weight is pushing you down instead of you pushing it up, this makes it harder to control and very unlikely you will finish the rep.

Kipping in certain accessory lifts does make them easier, but this is an entirely different thing since this is actually the person consciously or unconsciously assisting the movement with another part of the body. This is the athlete trying to make the movement easier because they do not have the strength to complete it strict.

When it comes to the major compound lifts though good form is good for a reason. Not only is it safest, but it is also the most efficient way to do it. Form break downs on these lifts are almost always musculature failing and not the result of the body trying to "make it easier"
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:20 PM   #14
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Could you elaborate?
adductors are groin muscles they function during a squat...

If the knees come in.. the groin muscles got shorter without doing any work.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:27 PM   #15
Joe Cavazos
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
When it comes to the major compound lifts though good form is good for a reason. Not only is it safest, but it is also the most efficient way to do it. Form break downs on these lifts are almost always musculature failing and not the result of the body trying to "make it easier"
Safer? Yes. More beneficial? Yes. Easier? Maybe not.

Form breakdown in these scenarios (FS, Press, curl) isn't just the result of musculature failing. It's the transfer of force production from weaker muscles (the ones that are failing) to stronger ones. Tilting forward in the Front Squat is because the quads aren't strong enough and your body shifts the work to the posterior chain by increasing the knee angle and decreasing the hip angle (turning it into a more Back Squat-looking lift). Leaning back in the Press is because your shoulders aren't strong enough to push the weight up, so you incorporate more chest into the lift (turning it into a more Bench Press-looking lift). I've got no idea why rounding the back during a Deadlift makes it stronger, but if you look at Powerlifting meets, rarely do people hit maxes with their backs in extension (WFS e.g.)

When doing an exercise like a Front Squat, you want to keep good form so the exercise does what you intend for it to do. If you fail to keep an upright torso, then you're turning it into a Back Squat, which is a different lift for a different purpose. Same for the Press.
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Last edited by Joe Cavazos : 05-29-2009 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:33 PM   #16
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Silverman View Post
adductors are groin muscles they function during a squat...

If the knees come in.. the groin muscles got shorter without doing any work.
I'm confused. Wouldn't the abductors be involved in keeping the knees out?
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #17
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

yes. adductors keep the knees out. they extend when the knees are out and get shorter when the knees are in contributing to hip extension. so when you are coming outta the squat there's hip extension. but if the knees go in when you are just coming out of the bottom, the adductors got shorter and won't contribute to hip extension later. so you got bad form and a less efficient movement.


another reason why you dont want knees together. you are not pushing the floor. it's all about muscles associated with the hips.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:42 PM   #18
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

and it is adductors not abductors. abductors are different.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:44 PM   #19
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Silverman View Post
yes. adductors keep the knees out. they extend when the knees are out and get shorter when the knees are in contributing to hip extension. so when you are coming outta the squat there's hip extension. but if the knees go in when you are just coming out of the bottom, the adductors got shorter and won't contribute to hip extension later. so you got bad form and a less efficient movement.


another reason why you dont want knees together. you are not pushing the floor. it's all about muscles associated with the hips.
Ah, I see. Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:49 PM   #20
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Re: Knees-Out & Squats

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Silverman View Post
and it is adductors not abductors. abductors are different.
Yes, I know, which is why I asked. I did not realize the role the adductors played in hip extension and how shortening them mutes their capacity for work later in the Squat. I was thinking about how the abductors are responsible for moving the knees away from the center line.
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