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Old 06-14-2011, 03:12 PM   #11
Emily Maisannes
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Ohhh boy, so here we go. I agree with both, kinda. I find that a lot of novice lifters hear the "toes out" bit, but their hip abductors are so weak that they can't drag their knees out over their toes, or they lack external hip rotation. Or another thing with any kind of squat is positioning the feet too wide hearing that cue, and again lacking the mobility to do it, the knees cave in, come way forward, and they never achieve the depth as prescribed in the movement (crease of hip below knee).

If you cue the athlete to narrow up just a bit and get their toes a bit more forward, then suddenly they have the mobility in their hips to be able to fire those hip abductors (which give fantastic beer shelf, btw) and get those knees where they need to be.

A great way to warm up the hips and avoid all that nonsense is to warm up as Rip says (whoda thunk?) and get into a squat position with the elbows inside and without moving your feet, drive those knees out. I prefer to wait until my third or so squat for this, but that's just me and my noisy hips.

So for novices, yeah, narrow up a bit with a bit more forward. Once you have that hip mobility and stronger hips, go wider to use that hip mobility and get the hamstrings more in the game. The wider I go, the more it lights up my hamstrings. Yay squats!

:now running and hiding since I agree and disagree with both "sides":

I hope all the same content is taught in all the same L1's, but maintaining lumbar extension, driving the knees out, etc. were all taught at my L1 in the spring of 2010.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:19 PM   #12
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

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Originally Posted by Emily Maisannes View Post
I hope all the same content is taught in all the same L1's, but maintaining lumbar extension, driving the knees out, etc. were all taught at my L1 in the spring of 2010.
I am not arguing that these points are discussed at the L1. In fact, I would argue that the emphasis placed on lumbar extension when someone is using PVC to squat is ridiculous. But, the toes out part is a very key piece of the concept of Active Hip, and this thread was specifically started to discuss the reasoning behind toes out.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #13
Michael Dowling
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

i personally found the pvc pipe completely worthless and training with it did not translate at all to a weighted bar.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:40 PM   #14
Emily Maisannes
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

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i personally found the pvc pipe completely worthless and training with it did not translate at all to a weighted bar.
Agreed, and don't get me started on med ball cleans, but those weren't what this thread was about.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:50 PM   #15
Steve Bray
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

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Originally Posted by Emily Maisannes View Post
Agreed, and don't get me started on med ball cleans, but those weren't what this thread was about.
med ball cleans are the only way i can teach people to clean a bar? i think its a good carryover for sedentary people. it teaches the open hip shrug and catch. then when they get to the bar you just gotta change your cues. im not a level 1 CF.


back to the squat. if you squat easier toes pointed out then do it. if you squat easier toes pointed forward then do it. just dont over do it. you dont want to have your toes so far out that you lose stability/strength and you dont want your toes pointed in too much that it rotates your knees inwards.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:40 PM   #16
Pat Sherwood
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Tamara,

We teach people at the Level 1 courses to squat with their toes pointed out, to drive their knees out so they stay in a safe, proper alignment with the foot, and to create stabilization through their midline. I don't see any contradiction, but you say that the points you mentioned are not taught at the L1. I'm sorry, but that is simply false, whether you have your L1 certificate or not, you are wrong in your statement.

The knees are driven out through external rotation. It is tough to do that without contracting those muscles. One of the adductors roles is external rotation of the femur, so again, you are contracting/using them to drive the knees out.

Perhaps you missed the point or just did not hear the specific verbiage you would have liked when you attended. However, all the 4 points you listed out are achieved and covered quite nicely at the Level 1.

Also, you must understand that the Level 1 is just that.....the first level. It is an introduction to many, many topics, movements, and concepts that have as many layers of depth as you want to go. It is many peoples first step into a world of fitness that a person could dedicate an entire life to studying all the various topics and only just scratch the surface.

Many people struggle to just be able to put their weight on their heels or try to get a sense of what flexing or extending their own spine really feels like. They are just beginning to learn the basics. If I told most people I meet to "actively place your rotators into contraction" I would leave them more confused then when they started and do them a huge disservice.

It is simply a case of the right tool for the right job.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:09 PM   #17
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

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Originally Posted by Pat Sherwood View Post
Tamara,

We teach people at the Level 1 courses to squat with their toes pointed out, to drive their knees out so they stay in a safe, proper alignment with the foot, and to create stabilization through their midline. I don't see any contradiction, but you say that the points you mentioned are not taught at the L1. I'm sorry, but that is simply false, whether you have your L1 certificate or not, you are wrong in your statement.

The knees are driven out through external rotation. It is tough to do that without contracting those muscles. One of the adductors roles is external rotation of the femur, so again, you are contracting/using them to drive the knees out.

Perhaps you missed the point or just did not hear the specific verbiage you would have liked when you attended. However, all the 4 points you listed out are achieved and covered quite nicely at the Level 1.

Also, you must understand that the Level 1 is just that.....the first level. It is an introduction to many, many topics, movements, and concepts that have as many layers of depth as you want to go. It is many peoples first step into a world of fitness that a person could dedicate an entire life to studying all the various topics and only just scratch the surface.

Many people struggle to just be able to put their weight on their heels or try to get a sense of what flexing or extending their own spine really feels like. They are just beginning to learn the basics. If I told most people I meet to "actively place your rotators into contraction" I would leave them more confused then when they started and do them a huge disservice.

It is simply a case of the right tool for the right job.
I think you need to reread what I wrote. I did not say that the L1 doesn't cover those 4 points. I said that the L1 does not specifically address the importance of a toes out stance and why THAT PARTICULAR STANCE is crucial to how the term "Active Hip" is defined by Mark Rippetoe. This thread started due to a disagreement about what Kelly Starrett has to say about toes out in a squat versus what Mark Rippetoe has to say about toes out in a squat. Those two people do not agree. If CFHQ and the CF L1 have taken an official stance on the importance of toes out as outlined by either Starrett or Rippetoe, then please let me know.

I am not wrong. I simply disagree with you on how to coach the squat, which is evidenced by your reference to having people keep their weight on their heels. I would never cue anyone to keep their weight on their heels in a squat, since that is not where their weight should be.

I am not here to argue the purpose of the L1 cert. I have above average intelligence and am completely capable of reading and comprehending all of the material in the L1 study guide and of hearing and comprehending all of the material in the L1 lectures. I was involved in this thread for the sole purpose of addressing toes out and the definition of Active Hip. You didn't like that I made a remark about coaching lifts with PVC, and I can't really help that.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:44 PM   #18
Pat Sherwood
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Hello Tamara,

At the L1 we state that the importance of the squat stance is 2 fold. It is what we find ideal, with regards to most people, not all, to maximize safety and performance. So, we do address why it is important.

That is why it is important. That is why we teach it. However, we are also open-minded and realize that there are some people that find great success with a different stance. That's ok. There are very few one-size-fits-all things that are either 100% right or 100% wrong. We cover what we find works well for most people. If it does not work well for you, or for a certain client, then the goal becomes experimenting until a solution for the person's needs is met.

Also, perhaps many people do not understand the role of the SME's like K-Star or Coach B, etc. They are amazing at what they do, have tremendous knowledge in their arena, add value, various points of view, and that is why we have them as part of our team. As a general rule, they are specialists and we are generalists. Coach B may set someone's shoulders at a slightly different position for a deadlift than Louie Simmons because one is a Oly lifter and one is a powerlifter. That's ok, and we are cool with that.

We can go down the same path with the toes in vs more of a forward position. It is ok if every person does not 100% agree with everything all the time.

Stabilize your midline, keep the knees healthy and do some squats.

I'm sorry that you are missing the general themes on some things that I say. Perhaps if I word it another way it will help. You stated that you would never tell someone to squat with their weight on their heels. I can only assume that you like the weight mid-foot, since I have not seen many successful squats executed on the ball of the feet.

Again, it seems your experience may be different than mine, but I find that most of the time when I tell people to put their weight in their heels (because too much of it was on their toes), then never really put all their weight on their heels, they simply actually do what I wanted them to do and load the mid-foot/slight rear of the foot. Perfect, mission accomplished.

I guess it all depends on the level of athlete you are coaching. Like in my previous email, when I said that I don't find success in telling people to actively place your rotators into contraction, I also have found little success telling a new athlete to load their mid-foot.

So, I will tell them "weight in the heels" until they start to become stabile in the squat. After that happens and they can control their body in space I will have a conversation about why I cued weight in the heels and how that was an intention "over-correction" to achieve the result I desired. I will then ensure they understand where they should feel it and why. However, most of the time I don't find success starting there. If you do, then awesome.

Please don't get defensive. I'm not attacking you. I never for a moment thought or stated that you were of less than average intelligence without the capacity to comprehend or hear. That does not make any sense.

I just stumbled upon this toe thread and thought I would jump in.

I'm simply giving my 2 cents. There is one thing I have learned in the wonderful world of computers.......no one wins an internet war. Everyone loses.

I never brought up the pvc pipe again in my 2nd email, and stated that I really did not care one way or another if you had a different view when I posted. I don't know why you are bringing it up again. I'm not sure if I have made you so angry and defensive, but it was not my intention.

I just like talking about CrossFit and other misc fitness "stuff".

Ok, I'm off to eat some BBQ.......but let's save that for the nutrition thread.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:11 PM   #19
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Sherwood View Post
Hello Tamara,

At the L1 we state that the importance of the squat stance is 2 fold. It is what we find ideal, with regards to most people, not all, to maximize safety and performance. So, we do address why it is important.

That is why it is important. That is why we teach it. However, we are also open-minded and realize that there are some people that find great success with a different stance. That's ok. There are very few one-size-fits-all things that are either 100% right or 100% wrong. We cover what we find works well for most people. If it does not work well for you, or for a certain client, then the goal becomes experimenting until a solution for the person's needs is met.

Also, perhaps many people do not understand the role of the SME's like K-Star or Coach B, etc. They are amazing at what they do, have tremendous knowledge in their arena, add value, various points of view, and that is why we have them as part of our team. As a general rule, they are specialists and we are generalists. Coach B may set someone's shoulders at a slightly different position for a deadlift than Louie Simmons because one is a Oly lifter and one is a powerlifter. That's ok, and we are cool with that.

We can go down the same path with the toes in vs more of a forward position. It is ok if every person does not 100% agree with everything all the time.

Stabilize your midline, keep the knees healthy and do some squats.

I'm sorry that you are missing the general themes on some things that I say. Perhaps if I word it another way it will help. You stated that you would never tell someone to squat with their weight on their heels. I can only assume that you like the weight mid-foot, since I have not seen many successful squats executed on the ball of the feet.

Again, it seems your experience may be different than mine, but I find that most of the time when I tell people to put their weight in their heels (because too much of it was on their toes), then never really put all their weight on their heels, they simply actually do what I wanted them to do and load the mid-foot/slight rear of the foot. Perfect, mission accomplished.

I guess it all depends on the level of athlete you are coaching. Like in my previous email, when I said that I don't find success in telling people to actively place your rotators into contraction, I also have found little success telling a new athlete to load their mid-foot.

So, I will tell them "weight in the heels" until they start to become stabile in the squat. After that happens and they can control their body in space I will have a conversation about why I cued weight in the heels and how that was an intention "over-correction" to achieve the result I desired. I will then ensure they understand where they should feel it and why. However, most of the time I don't find success starting there. If you do, then awesome.

Please don't get defensive. I'm not attacking you. I never for a moment thought or stated that you were of less than average intelligence without the capacity to comprehend or hear. That does not make any sense.

I just stumbled upon this toe thread and thought I would jump in.

I'm simply giving my 2 cents. There is one thing I have learned in the wonderful world of computers.......no one wins an internet war. Everyone loses.

I never brought up the pvc pipe again in my 2nd email, and stated that I really did not care one way or another if you had a different view when I posted. I don't know why you are bringing it up again. I'm not sure if I have made you so angry and defensive, but it was not my intention.

I just like talking about CrossFit and other misc fitness "stuff".

Ok, I'm off to eat some BBQ.......but let's save that for the nutrition thread.
You should probably hang out and drink some bourbon with me and get to know me a little better. In fact, that is sage advice for most of the planet.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:21 PM   #20
Donald Lee
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Re: Active Hip in Squats

The midfoot is actually pretty close to the heel. It's not in the middle of the foot.
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