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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-02-2011, 12:05 AM   #21
Dan Graziano
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Sure I have. It's quite a common movement in aikido hip throws, and I presume in the similar movements that appear in judo and jujutsu. (It is true, however, that those movements don't generally require a full below-parallel squat.)

I've also seen movers and porters back squat heavy loads: bend the knees enough to get the hands under whatever it is and stand up, taking the load on the back. Hikers do the same thing to stand up with a heavy pack. Besides the biomechanical advantage, carrying something on your back instead of in front lets you see where you're going.

Katherine
An akido hip throw is actually a rotational movement so I think that might be a bad example. As a mover first thing that is taught is not load anything on the back without a hump strap which in essence is the opposite principle of the front load where you make the load part of your body to keep proper postural alignment, so there another example that doesn't work. Hikers who do this have back packs that strap in the front, again making the load disperse along the mid-line better, which is the same application of using a bearhug squat .

Actually Katherine I would love to show you some neat KB and SB implements for Akido, assuming that is what you enjoy doing. Give me some basic moves so I can come up with some training methods. For sport nothing is better than training movement patterns. Care to give me a few I already have some good ones for the throw you just pointed.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:16 AM   #22
Adam Carlson
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Re: Squatting Variations

while there is rotation in an aikido throw, some forms of throws require you to drop your hips, get below the lever of your opponent's hips, and squat them back up in order to get the required leverage.

I do like odd object training and think that it is valuable. I also know that Bill Starr has talked about the front squat having more application to athletics than the back squat.

At the same time, I also know that I want my students (both in my classes and on my wrestling team) to have strong back squats. As Chris stated, being able to load more weight has a great adaptation effect that I just can't give up.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:05 AM   #23
Ryan Dell Whitley
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Re: Squatting Variations

I've had similar thoughts to what you're describing on your blog and this thread. And there are lots of good strength coaches who don't have their athletes do back squats. In the past I've even cut out heavy squats in my own training and with some of the guys that I've trained due to some of the advice that you are citing. Here's some of my own personal conclusions:

1) It doesn't matter if a movement mimics "real life." If matching movement patterns to real life activities truly matters, then why is barbell training useful? Unless you are a powerlifter/weightlifter, no sport is going to require you to pick up a carefully calibrated steel bar with exactly measured loads on either side of said carefully calibrated steel bar. A powerclean does not match the movement of a football player exploding of the line in either movement or loading pattern, yet it does have a positive carryover and it can be incrementally loaded to ensure that adequate stimulus is applied consistently. I know a lot of MMA guys that think that grappling is the only conditioning they need since that is what their sport is. These guys routinely get crushed by bigger, stronger athletes regardless of skill. This applies to most sports out there.

2) It's not an either/or situation. Should I do front or back squats? Single-leg or double-leg? Standard or zercher? The answer is YES. Why limit yourself to just squatting movement? Why exclude any squatting movement? Odd object or barbell? YES. Overhead? YES. Goblet? YES. Low bar or high bar? YES. Do them all. Get good at them all.

3) The benefit of the back squat speaks for itself. I'm not a tradionalist, nor am I a credalist. But the fact is that back squats have been used for decades to make people big and strong. This is undeniable. Any athlete that is serious about strength back squats. I'm not against asking "why?", but if it's not broke then why fix it? But when it comes to making an athlete bigger/stronger, I can't think of a better exercise.

Just my $0.02
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:20 AM   #24
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
while there is rotation in an aikido throw, some forms of throws require you to drop your hips, get below the lever of your opponent's hips, and squat them back up in order to get the required leverage.
Yes, precisely. The rotation helps control the direction of the fall, but the fundamental source of the balance break is getting your center of gravity below theirs.

For me, squatting regularly made a *huge* difference in stability for these throws.

Katherine
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:56 AM   #25
Shane Skowron
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Dan Graziano View Post
Besides a gym you have never loaded anything on your back and squatted.
Ever carried a man on your back? Or a heavy ruck?

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Originally Posted by Dan Graziano View Post
As a mover first thing that is taught is not load anything on the back without a hump strap which in essence is the opposite principle of the front load where you make the load part of your body to keep proper postural alignment
Having worked for a successful moving company, we would frequently load stuff on our back without hump straps. Like wardrobe boxes, which are usually ~5 feet high and can be pretty heavy when filled with jackets. Having one of these on your back and carrying it up a flight of stairs feels a lot like a set of back squats.

The only time we used hump straps was for refrigerators or high board dressers so that the guy carrying the top wouldn't have it slip out of his hands, or if the bottom of the piece was too sharp to grip.

And even if you did load something on your back with a hump strap, the arms only bear so much weight and are in very much the same position as they would be for any type of back squat. The legs and back still bear the brunt of the weight.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #26
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Squatting Variations

Dan, I think you would really appreciate this if you haven't seen it yet.

Mike Boyle's video, "The Death of the Conventional Squat", and why you should drop it from your strength program (his words, not mine). WFS: http://www.functionalstrengthcoach3.com/squats.html

Also I came across this VERY interesting article in which it's said that Leonid Taranenko had replaced Squats with this form of a high step-up for 4 years before setting the world record C+J, plus much more good info. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it's very interesting indeed. WFS: http://www.overspeedtraining.com/legsart.htm

I keep an open mind but then again I'm weak as hell so my opinion is worth nothing. Plus I'm biased towards unilateral leg training because of some assymmetries I have that tend to injure me when I go heavy on squats

PS: I should note that I don't do anything on a bosu ball. Haha
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #27
Dan Graziano
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
while there is rotation in an aikido throw, some forms of throws require you to drop your hips, get below the lever of your opponent's hips, and squat them back up in order to get the required leverage.

I do like odd object training and think that it is valuable. I also know that Bill Starr has talked about the front squat having more application to athletics than the back squat.

At the same time, I also know that I want my students (both in my classes and on my wrestling team) to have strong back squats. As Chris stated, being able to load more weight has a great adaptation effect that I just can't give up.
You got the points I was trying to make. I never said no back squatting, I simply wanted everyone to think why they do it. For what purpose, and how that relates to being functional. Rarely to we even squat front or back bilaterally, most of it is staggered stance or split stance. Back squatting is great but if people want to be athletic we better start training them that way and better prepare for life and sport. Thanks for an insightful and well thought opinion Adam.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:13 AM   #28
Dan Graziano
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Ryan Dell Whitley View Post
I've had similar thoughts to what you're describing on your blog and this thread. And there are lots of good strength coaches who don't have their athletes do back squats. In the past I've even cut out heavy squats in my own training and with some of the guys that I've trained due to some of the advice that you are citing. Here's some of my own personal conclusions:

1) It doesn't matter if a movement mimics "real life." If matching movement patterns to real life activities truly matters, then why is barbell training useful? Unless you are a powerlifter/weightlifter, no sport is going to require you to pick up a carefully calibrated steel bar with exactly measured loads on either side of said carefully calibrated steel bar. A powerclean does not match the movement of a football player exploding of the line in either movement or loading pattern, yet it does have a positive carryover and it can be incrementally loaded to ensure that adequate stimulus is applied consistently. I know a lot of MMA guys that think that grappling is the only conditioning they need since that is what their sport is. These guys routinely get crushed by bigger, stronger athletes regardless of skill. This applies to most sports out there.

2) It's not an either/or situation. Should I do front or back squats? Single-leg or double-leg? Standard or zercher? The answer is YES. Why limit yourself to just squatting movement? Why exclude any squatting movement? Odd object or barbell? YES. Overhead? YES. Goblet? YES. Low bar or high bar? YES. Do them all. Get good at them all.

3) The benefit of the back squat speaks for itself. I'm not a tradionalist, nor am I a credalist. But the fact is that back squats have been used for decades to make people big and strong. This is undeniable. Any athlete that is serious about strength back squats. I'm not against asking "why?", but if it's not broke then why fix it? But when it comes to making an athlete bigger/stronger, I can't think of a better exercise.

Just my $0.02
Ryan, you are correct, barbell power cleans do not match movement patterns of a football player, which is why I recommend single leg pulls such as staggered stance kb swings, staggered stance sandbag cleans, etc. Because I think uni-laterl and front loaded training needs to be implemented does not mean I think we should get rid of bilateral barbell training. Like I said in the last sentence of the blog post, I want those big numbers and see the benefit of the back squat, but it is time to switch things up and working on that CONSTANTLY VARIED, FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT thing CFHQ prescribes. I simply feel the examples I have given are great ways to improve those bilateral cleans and squats and snatches and are more applicable to actually sport movement patterns.

Again another well put together opinion and I appreciate that Ryan, makes sense.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:18 AM   #29
Dan Graziano
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Yes, precisely. The rotation helps control the direction of the fall, but the fundamental source of the balance break is getting your center of gravity below theirs.

For me, squatting regularly made a *huge* difference in stability for these throws.

Katherine
Katherine you and I are on the same page. Because you can now back squat efficiently and are stronger, now its time to advance you to more sport specific movements and training in other planes of motion outside the sagital plane. You realize you do a lot of rotational movements, so it is time to train that. Not saying to drop back squat altogether, but it wouldn't hurt to add some single leg pulls and then progress to single leg rotational pulls as well. Then you will see the back squat number go up and the bigger bonus as an athlete is you become stronger no matter what plane of motion you are moving in because you trained for those unknown variables.

Thank you for your comments Katherine.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:25 AM   #30
Dan Graziano
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Re: Squatting Variations

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
Ever carried a man on your back? Or a heavy ruck?



Having worked for a successful moving company, we would frequently load stuff on our back without hump straps. Like wardrobe boxes, which are usually ~5 feet high and can be pretty heavy when filled with jackets. Having one of these on your back and carrying it up a flight of stairs feels a lot like a set of back squats.

The only time we used hump straps was for refrigerators or high board dressers so that the guy carrying the top wouldn't have it slip out of his hands, or if the bottom of the piece was too sharp to grip.

And even if you did load something on your back with a hump strap, the arms only bear so much weight and are in very much the same position as they would be for any type of back squat. The legs and back still bear the brunt of the weight.
Shane, your not looking at the bigger picture here buddy. Carried a man on my back like picking him up from a burning fire? Do you stand overtop of him and clean or snatch him up? NO. You would likely kneel down, pick him up onto either shoulder and then stand up and get the hell out haha, right? There is no human weight rack for you to get underneath.

That is my point Shane. Yes back squats make us stronger. But if the only thing we do unilaterally are walking lunges then we are not prepared to help your friend out of that burning fire. So because you back squat so much, you do have the strength in the legs to save him, however it would be hard to argue that if you had added unilateral squat and different hold variations through those movements you would have an easier time therefore having you more prepared for the unknown.

Onto your moving experience. I would always front load wardrobe boxes because it puts stress on the legs not the lower back due to the flexion in my thoracic spine and erector spinae. That is why I love teaching the squat to noobs on the sandbag using a bearhug postion.
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