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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 09-04-2014, 05:26 AM   #1
Jay Roberts
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Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

I've been squatting for years with very solid form, with the feet angled slightly outward, and have had no problems.

I've also had a crunching sound under my right kneecap for many years, but it has never caused any pain and my understanding is that it's no problem.

Earlier this year, I got Becoming a Supple Leopard. Since Kelly Starrett makes such a strong case for squatting with the feet staight forward, I started doing it that way.

Recently, I noticed that the crunching sound in my knee is much louder if I squat with the feet straight. But the sound is just the same level as it always was (ie much softer) if I angle my feet out slightly.

Even though the louder crunching with straight feet still isn't causing any pain, my instinct is that it's not healthy and I should avoid doing it that way. At the same time, I don't want to cause any of the compromises Kelly talks about if I angle my feet out.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this? I'd love your input.

Cheers

Jay
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:38 AM   #2
Dare Vodusek
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

Interestin thing I noticed on myself the other day.

Since I remember my feet are turned out a bit, I walk like a duck, a little. And each time I focus to keep my feet straight I hear crunching from my ankle joints, both of them.

My theory is that all tissue surrounding the ankle is in a "non"-straight position and when I try to walk straight, even if that is the correct way of walking, I am actually putting my tissue/joints into its non-"natural" position, and thats why its crunching.

For tissues to adapt to changes it takes 6 months for ligaments and 12 months for joints.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:27 AM   #3
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

When you used to squat how much did you point them out? If you're talking 10-20 degrees, I don't think it is a big deal and should be fine. Most squatters have some degree of toes out. Just don't be extreme and be aware of arch collapse and the knees coming in.

Screwing your feet into the ground and pushing your knees out do a good job of preventing the collapse.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
David Finney
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

Just keep in mind that everyone's body is different, and there is no one size fits all in squatting form, or any exercise form for that matter.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #5
Darryl Shaw
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

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Originally Posted by Jay Roberts View Post
I've been squatting for years with very solid form, with the feet angled slightly outward, and have had no problems.

I've also had a crunching sound under my right kneecap for many years, but it has never caused any pain and my understanding is that it's no problem.
My advice; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:51 PM   #6
Shawn M Wilson
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Shaw View Post
My advice; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
This...
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

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Originally Posted by Darryl Shaw View Post
My advice; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
And if it hurts, don't do it.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:12 PM   #8
Clint Harris
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Roberts View Post
I've been squatting for years with very solid form, with the feet angled slightly outward, and have had no problems.

I've also had a crunching sound under my right kneecap for many years, but it has never caused any pain and my understanding is that it's no problem.

Earlier this year, I got Becoming a Supple Leopard. Since Kelly Starrett makes such a strong case for squatting with the feet staight forward, I started doing it that way.

Recently, I noticed that the crunching sound in my knee is much louder if I squat with the feet straight. But the sound is just the same level as it always was (ie much softer) if I angle my feet out slightly.

Even though the louder crunching with straight feet still isn't causing any pain, my instinct is that it's not healthy and I should avoid doing it that way. At the same time, I don't want to cause any of the compromises Kelly talks about if I angle my feet out.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this? I'd love your input.

Cheers

Jay
Crunchy knees sounds great! Power runs in straight lines eh? --John Wellbourn.
It's about creating torque. However, this is a position for someone who has good mobility and can handle it. If your feet out is currently considered wide, then simply jumping to a toes forward position sounds like a bad idea. Especially if you can't do it when not under load - and, if your feet roll off the ground or ankles bow in etc when doing this. Your stance width may also need to change - perhaps not narrow with feet way outside your knees (feet out may help you be here), but maybe a wider stance outside hip width with knees tracking the inside of your foot (this is not a valgus position, it's athletic).
Perhaps try working yourself into this position. Don't jump straight to a toes forward under load position. Perhaps cut your current toe angle in half and play with that for a few weeks, make sure you have a solid squat, then cut it in half again. You know, baby steps.
But at the end of the day, if it aint broke, don't fix it could be the appropriate response. Assuming it isn't actually broken and you're current "good position" isn't actually a poor one.

Video and/or in-person 3rd party assistance may be your prescription here. There may be more going on here than which directions your toes point. If feet are rolling, knees wobbling, torso out of whack.
Potentially.....
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #9
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

I find it extremely funny that the squat has been around for so long, with more or less toes out (10-15 degrees) and its only with the intro of CrossFit that people go back to a straight stance, all because of what 1 dude tells you.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
Dare Vodusek
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Re: Knee crunching with straight feet in squat

Its not 1 dude, its a well educated doctor. Are you saying that coaches that are not educated doctors know better?
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