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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-12-2008, 05:45 PM   #1
Drew Hahn
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Torso Length and Squatting

I'm 5'10" tall, and I have a 30" inseam, so my legs are very short for my body.

When I do back squats, it's very difficult for me to avoid butt wink even with just 135 lbs. When I do front squats, by contrast, I can do 345x3 with perfect form. Since it's not safe for me to back squat, I only front squat heavy.

I've been trying to back squat correctly for almost a year, but I've never been successful. I stretch regularly, so I don't think it's a flexibility issue. Could it have something to do with my freakishly long torso?
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #2
Grant Scalf
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

I am on the high side of 5'9 and I have a 30'' inseam. I don't think my legs are short for my body. Maybe someone else can ring in on this one...
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:14 PM   #3
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

drew, your in ability to squat correctly has nothing to do with your limb/torso length. It has everything to do with tightness in the glutes and weakness in the adductors.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
Sarena Kopciel
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

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Originally Posted by Andrew G. Greenberg View Post
drew, your in ability to squat correctly has nothing to do with your limb/torso length. It has everything to do with tightness in the glutes and weakness in the adductors.
This is my coach's speciality and he would totally disagree!! Try a high bar BS!
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
Derek Maffett
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

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Originally Posted by Sarena Kopciel View Post
This is my coach's speciality and he would totally disagree!! Try a high bar BS!
Explanation?
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:01 PM   #6
Drew Hahn
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

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Originally Posted by Andrew G. Greenberg View Post
drew, your in ability to squat correctly has nothing to do with your limb/torso length. It has everything to do with tightness in the glutes and weakness in the adductors.
I disagree.

I static stretch and foam roll a lot, and I'm very flexible. For a disgusting example, I could put my big toe in my mouth (although I swear I never have!), so I don't think my glutes are the problem.

If my adductors were so weak that I couldn't squat 135 with good form, I certainly wouldn't be able to front squat 345x3.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
Steven Rogers
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

I'm 5' 11" with a 30" inseam, so my torso seems to be even longer than yours. The only issues I've had are flexibility.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:49 AM   #8
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

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Originally Posted by Drew Hahn View Post
I disagree.

I static stretch and foam roll a lot, and I'm very flexible. For a disgusting example, I could put my big toe in my mouth (although I swear I never have!), so I don't think my glutes are the problem.

If my adductors were so weak that I couldn't squat 135 with good form, I certainly wouldn't be able to front squat 345x3.
If you have substantial butt wink at the bottom of a back squat, you are not flexible enough, regardless of which digits you could place in your mouth. Why don't you post a squat video so we can see exactly what's going on?
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:31 AM   #9
Drew Hahn
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

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Originally Posted by Andrew G. Greenberg View Post
If you have substantial butt wink at the bottom of a back squat, you are not flexible enough, regardless of which digits you could place in your mouth. Why don't you post a squat video so we can see exactly what's going on?
I was just trying to indicate that my glutes are flexible. I can actually put my foot behind my head. If my glutes were inflexible, I wouldn't be able to do that.

I don't think my butt wink is a flexibility issue. I can do the splits. I can rest my head against my shin during a 1-legged hamstring stretch. I can also spread my legs out in front of me in a seated position, lean forward, and rest my head against the floor. Everyone says it's flexibility, so I've worked really hard on it. I think flexibility might be necessary but not sufficient for avoiding butt wink.

I'll try to get ahold of a camera.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
Kelly Frankson
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Re: Torso Length and Squatting

Length of the torso definitely does have something to do with it because of the position it puts the bar in.

If you have ever gone to a Riptoe cert or read his book you will you will have it drilled into your head that the bar should stay centered over the midline of your feet-for regular proportioned people this means there needs to be a slight forward lean in your torso to move the bar from behind your feet to the center. However, when long torsoed people try to replicate the same position (have the same amount of forward lean) they actually bring the bar in front of their feet throwing off their center of gravity and eliminating the structural alignment needed to efficiently come up out of the whole.

Rather than copying the typical images of people doing back squats, try doing them with your Torso a little more upright and make sure that bar is never passing in front of your feet. If you are comparing back angles of a short and long torsoed person doing back squats they should be different, so don't try to be like everyone else, find the alignment that works for your body!
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