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Old 10-12-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
Andrew Perlot
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Having Trouble Squatting

I'm a pretty flexible and reasonably fit guy, but I am terrible at squatting.

It's just that my body seems physically unable to make a squatting movement.

Not only can I not do the squatting exercise, but I can't do the "Asian squat" that every person in India and China seems to be able to do without the slightest bit of effort -They use it as a comfortably way to sit!

In yoga, I am also unable to do a good "Chair Pose", which is similar to a squat.

I really want to be able to do squats, and I'm hoping you can point out what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I'm tight somewhere?

Here is a video of me trying to squat/do an Asian squat. Video is family safe, appropriate, etc. Hosted on Youtube.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by Andrew Perlot : 10-12-2010 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:27 AM   #2
Brian Bedell
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

Your ankles don't flex. Were you/are you a swimmer? I find this problem with swimmers a lot b/c of the kicking and pointing of the toes. IMO.

Anyways, you'll just simply have to work at it...hold onto a stationery object and work on your air squats.

"I'm a pretty flexible..."
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
Andrew Perlot
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bedell View Post
"I'm a pretty flexible..."
Well, that's just the thing, most people consider me ridiculously flexible. I can go into a forearm scorpion and touch my feet to the back of my head.

Which is why I'm so stumped that I don't seem to have enough flexibility for this.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bedell View Post
Your ankles don't flex. Were you/are you a swimmer? I find this problem with swimmers a lot b/c of the kicking and pointing of the toes. IMO.

Anyways, you'll just simply have to work at it...hold onto a stationery object and work on your air squats.
I was never a swimmer, but I was a catcher for about a decade. Spent a lot of time in a catcher's squat. Not sure if that would have played a roll.

So are you suggesting that I grab onto a poll or something and then just gradually lower myself down into a squat?

Any specific way I should do this?

Last edited by Andrew Perlot : 10-12-2010 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Perlot View Post
I'm a pretty flexible and reasonably fit guy, but I am terrible at squatting.

It's just that my body seems physically unable to make a squatting movement.

Not only can I not do the squatting exercise, but I can't do the "Asian squat" that every person in India and China seems to be able to do without the slightest bit of effort -They use it as a comfortably way to sit!

In yoga, I am also unable to do a good "Chair Pose", which is similar to a squat.

I really want to be able to do squats, and I'm hoping you can point out what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I'm tight somewhere?

Here is a video of me trying to squat/do an Asian squat. Video is family safe, appropriate, etc. Hosted on Youtube.

Any suggestions?
You might want to try bending your knees.
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
Brian Bedell
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

Yes, that played a part in it. Google 'cather's squat." There is some talk about it.

Work on your ankle flexibility, and get some shoes with small heel, preferably weightlifting shoes and that should help.

I'm not going to instruct you on how to get into a squat using a stationery pole as a support. Make it happen. You can probably search this thread or the CFJ for squat progressions too.
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
Jason Peacock
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

Lay on your back on the floor, then keeping your hips on the ground try to pull your knees up to your chest (and/or have a friend help with this).

That will show whether it's inflexibility in the hamstrings (you won't be able to get your knees anywhere close to your chest) or if it's lack of training (knees go all the way up).

You're showing a lot of back rounding when you are squatting, which disengages the hamstrings and lets you squat, so it's hard to tell which is your problem.

Either way the solution is generally the same - practice, practice, practice
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:24 PM   #7
Robert Callahan
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

you have to allow your knees to move forward. You will never be able to squat with that stance without your knees coming forward, you will always fall backwards.

also how is your hamstring flexibility? The scorpion thing is cool, but has nothing to do with squatting.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:07 PM   #8
Craig Massey
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

These days in the CF community the answer to anything related flexibility is "do the MWOD".

Kelly Starrett posts a daily mobility session, the Mobility WOD, here http://mobilitywod.blogspot.com/ (wfs). You can look up Kelly's credentials all over the show if you don't believe me when I say that he knows what he's talking about.

Get working on those and you'll quickly find out what needs work.

What I saw in that video was a lack of hamstring/glute strength and tight heel chords. For now your squat in a WOD should be to the depth you can keep your heels on the ground and back tight. Push the limits of your ROM on each rep, but not to the point where your heels lift or back rounds. Work on mobilising the stiff joints and ROM will come, but it will take time.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:57 PM   #9
Andrew Perlot
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Re: Having Trouble Squatting

I can very easily bring my knee to my chest, so I guess it's not hamstrings.

So when you say practice, practice, practice, you'd suggest that Just keep squatting? Or maybe an assisted squat using a pole to hang onto?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Peacock View Post
Lay on your back on the floor, then keeping your hips on the ground try to pull your knees up to your chest (and/or have a friend help with this).

That will show whether it's inflexibility in the hamstrings (you won't be able to get your knees anywhere close to your chest) or if it's lack of training (knees go all the way up).

You're showing a lot of back rounding when you are squatting, which disengages the hamstrings and lets you squat, so it's hard to tell which is your problem.

Either way the solution is generally the same - practice, practice, practice
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
Andrew Perlot
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Assisted Squatting

So I tried two types of "assisted squats"

For the first one I found an old catalog and stuck it under my heels. I can squat down all the way and get back up doing this, although it's not pretty.

Video is here.

My back is still bent over pretty far. Although it feels like I"m working my legs, will I be able to straighten my back out more doing this?
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