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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-09-2007, 06:01 AM   #1
Chad McBroom
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I have been receiving a lot of criticism lately for going past 90 degrees on my squats. This criticism of course is coming from non-CrossFitters. Can someone give me a good explanation on why it is better to go past 90 degrees on the squat? Traditional weight training philosophy teaches that going past 90 degrees is bad for the knees.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:09 AM   #2
Anthony Bainbridge
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Work/Family safe link that dispels a few myths on squatting.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:17 AM   #3
Howard Wilcox
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If you want to get super-educated on squatting, get Starting Strength. It has 50+ pages on just the squat. As a bonus you get detailed information on the deadlift, power clean, bench press, and overhead press.

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Old 05-09-2007, 08:22 AM   #4
Ro Bostick
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Because stopping above or even at 90 degrees disengages the cruciate ligaments that protect your knee, shears the tibia and disperses as much of the load as it can directly to the patella. Essentially the 90 degree area is roughly where you are going to be weakest and most vulnerable. There really isn't any debate over this anymore. I'm not sure what ``traditional weight training philosophy'' you're referring to, but the idea of stopping above parallel was debunked years ago. i have yet to read a plausible physiological argument for stopping above parallel. Plus, the safety issue aside, the conventional wisdom these days is that full extension and flexion are more beneficial to muscle and strength development
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
Patrick Donnelly
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No, no, no...

When you squat, you are supposed to load something 250+ pounds on your back, and stand in front of a plyo box, which is about 6 inches lower than waist height. Now, with the weight still on your shoulders, sit down on the box. Make sure to plant your rear very firmly on it. As the other weight lifters nearby begin to cheer and say "C'mon! You can do it!," lean forward, keeping your weight on your toes, and stand up. Place the bar back on the rack, with the assistance of two spotters.

You have successfully completed one rep of the most difficult squat possible. This is your entire workout for the day.

It's funny seeing that in the weight room, knowing that people here can do a full squat with much more weight than that.

Greg Hovey addresses this issue, and a few other weightlifting myths in this SciLink article:

(Message edited by whiteninja on May 09, 2007)
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:33 AM   #6
David Aguasca
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...makes you stronger?

go with Starting Strength. best book purchase i've made in the past 2-3 years. you really can't go wrong.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:08 AM   #7
Chris Walls
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+1 for getting "Starting Strength".

I had no idea how completely wrong I was doing squats until I got that book. Best piece of kit for my home gym to date.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:02 PM   #8
Brandon Oto
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Why, then, do we always see in CF videos squatting done to a ball or some kind of stop?
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
Daniel Schmieding
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I assume the reason is two-fold:
1 - The ball or box is most often clearly below parallel. It is there to make the athlete reach a consistent depth, instead of having one low enough, and another not quite getting there. Could people go lower? Sure, if their flexibility allows.

2 - The ball or box will also prevent the squatters from leaning foward.

And just for the record, we don't "always" see the squat in the CF videos done that way.
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:59 PM   #10
Chris Buonamia
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I come from a long line of folks with 'bad knees' and I even wrecked mine in high school football. I, like many others, was taught to squat completely wrong (thanks coach!).

Then I started CrossFit, purchased Starting Strength, and I've been doing full-depth squats for the past month with absolutely zero knee issues. I'm working the form slowly and forcing myself to not up the weight until the form allows. Sure, the meathead moron patrol at the gym gives me weird looks. But I don't put much stock into that since they still need me to scratch their backs for their steroid selves.

Definitely get Starting Strength. You will be very happy.
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