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Old 05-05-2011, 07:49 AM   #31
Beau Bryant
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

This pretty much covers my feelings about the issue. If you are a coach then you better at least have a good reason for why you are teaching something a certain way.

http://www.performancemenu.com/artic...?articleID=113

and in the event that gets blocked go to

http://www.performance space menu.com/articles/article.php?articleID=113

remove the word "space" from the above link
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:33 PM   #32
Mauricio Leal
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau Bryant View Post
This pretty much covers my feelings about the issue. If you are a coach then you better at least have a good reason for why you are teaching something a certain way.

http://www.performancemenu.com/artic...?articleID=113
Everett makes a lot of good points, and he clearly has a very good understand of the mechanics of squatting.

I'd like to highlight the last paragraph because it brings up an important distinction between CrossFit and other athletic programs (particularly those specifically geared towards competitive athletes):

Quote:
Training for Success

The primary goal for any coach or trainer is to prevent your athletes from getting injured. Injured athletes canít play or train. This should always be kept in mind when deciding how to train an athlete. However, thereís a difference between training in a manner that prevents injury and one that plans for failure. I prefer the former. In other words, train wisely and safely for success rather than modifying your training to prepare you for impending doom.

Squat in the way you believe and demonstrate to be the safest and most effective for you, and teach your athletes to do the same.
I think this illustrates at least his perceived differentiation between his role as a Weightlifting Coach and Starrett's role as a CrossFit Coach with an emphasis on Physical Therapy and Mobility, especially as it pertains to CrossFit. I think they'd both agree that the preferred mechanic is not the one whose sole goal is built around failure, however Starrett's whole ethos is that the safest positions are almost always the same as those that allow the human body to express maximum power. Improve your mobility, get in a better position, increase performance. He makes it a point at his cert that although for a lot of people it will prevent and in some cases "cure" injuries -- it's just not a sexy selling point. No one really gets juiced about injury prevention, but they do about PRing on their deadlift by 20# after attending his cert (this way my experience, and from what I've read it's quite common).

Anyhow, I think one of the bottom lines that we have to deal with in CrossFit that wouldn't necessarily be so in other performance-geared programs is that yes, a significant chunk of our population is completely un-athletic to begin with, and safety and a reasonable expectation of varying degrees of failure are more front and center than, say, if the majority of your athletes are Snatching bodyweight or more. This is compounded by the fact that we are asking them to perform such a wide variety of tasks at high intensity that it is almost impossible to consistently keep each and every individual in the class so perfectly scaled that they never deviate from great form (though this is the goal). On the flipside, when you essentially have a surplus of maximal strength to begin with, deviating from the "failsafe" position isn't going to affect you nearly as much as someone who is so tight they can't bottom out in their air squat. This is by no means meant to apply to Everett, but I have seen several coaches of high level athletes who either deliberately or not don't even get into why we squat this way or that, how much feet turned in or out, and they can get away with it simply because the majority of their athletes are so strong/fit to begin with that they can either overwhelm the movement with their strength while being in less than perfect position, or figure it out on their own, raw talent and all that. This is a problem in CrossFit as well.

A non-trivial number of CF gyms self-select their populations by being so terrible at scaling that Grandma and Grandpa (or even just Mom and Dad in some cases) are either instantly crushed and never come back, or are so intimidated that they don't even walk in the door in the first place. Starrett is trying his darnedest to lay mobility/good/safe positioning/what-have-you as the foundation for athletic performance so that it isn't only those with athletic backgrounds or a knack for good movement that survive the first week and stick with it. He may be biased because he probably deals directly with more injured people than you average coach, but even for athletes it's pretty awesome not walking around with debilitating soreness all the time.

/rant
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:20 AM   #33
Beau Bryant
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio Leal View Post
Everett makes a lot of good points, and he clearly has a very good understand of the mechanics of squatting.

Anyhow, I think one of the bottom lines that we have to deal with in CrossFit that wouldn't necessarily be so in other performance-geared programs is that yes, a significant chunk of our population is completely un-athletic to begin with, and safety and a reasonable expectation of varying degrees of failure are more front and center than, say, if the majority of your athletes are Snatching bodyweight or more. This is compounded by the fact that we are asking them to perform such a wide variety of tasks at high intensity that it is almost impossible to consistently keep each and every individual in the class so perfectly scaled that they never deviate from great form (though this is the goal). On the flipside, when you essentially have a surplus of maximal strength to begin with, deviating from the "failsafe" position isn't going to affect you nearly as much as someone who is so tight they can't bottom out in their air squat. This is by no means meant to apply to Everett, but I have seen several coaches of high level athletes who either deliberately or not don't even get into why we squat this way or that, how much feet turned in or out, and they can get away with it simply because the majority of their athletes are so strong/fit to begin with that they can either overwhelm the movement with their strength while being in less than perfect position, or figure it out on their own, raw talent and all that. This is a problem in CrossFit as well.

/rant
This is why I run a strength program. EVERYONE gets significantly stronger FIRST. And I mean significantly stronger in the basic barbell lifts than the average exerciser. Women will push squats to 200 pounds, teenagers 3x5 squats are pushing or over 300 pounds, and everyone else in between gets just as strong. It's amazing what teaching the basic barbell movements correctly, progressively loading them, and developing strength does to injury rates and mobility. Well, some who have never done it may find it amazing.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:02 AM   #34
Tamara Cohen
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

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Originally Posted by Beau Bryant View Post
This is why I run a strength program. EVERYONE gets significantly stronger FIRST. And I mean significantly stronger in the basic barbell lifts than the average exerciser. Women will push squats to 200 pounds, teenagers 3x5 squats are pushing or over 300 pounds, and everyone else in between gets just as strong. It's amazing what teaching the basic barbell movements correctly, progressively loading them, and developing strength does to injury rates and mobility. Well, some who have never done it may find it amazing.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:28 PM   #35
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

Food for thought:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4Kas5XRR_W...52817%2529.jpg

Feet appear to be pointing pretty straight ahead, but the femur also appears in line with the tibia. Is it that this gal simply has enough mobility to make it work?

link WFS
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:06 PM   #36
Robert Callahan
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
Food for thought:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4Kas5XRR_W...52817%2529.jpg

Feet appear to be pointing pretty straight ahead, but the femur also appears in line with the tibia. Is it that this gal simply has enough mobility to make it work?

link WFS
Her tibia and femur do not appear to be in line to me. There looks to be quite a bit of internal rotation of that tibia putting all kinds of torque on that knee. Look at the femur to foot angle, femur is tracking way outside of the foot.

Seems like having her turn her feet out 10-15 degrees with everything else the same would take a lot of torque off her knees... but whatever makes people happy
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:17 PM   #37
John Koshy
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

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Originally Posted by Veronica Carpenter View Post
If you look closely at the pic in the following link (WFS), although there is some variation, many of these lifters, some elite, squat with their feet pointed straight.

http://crossfitsedona.typepad.com/.s...quatting_2.jpg
Actually, I don't see that most have their feet straight. Furthermore, on the last row, the two girls....they're not close to ATG depth. The chick in blue isn't even hitting parallel (unless these are mid squat photos but I doubt that since the rest of the people in the photos are hitting max depth physically possible so I assume the two girls are at the deepest they can go safely as well). And if you look at quite a few of the guys that are ATG where their butt is literally touching the floor, the knees aren't even tracking with the toes. The toes are out and the knees appear to be collapsing in. Are you telling me this is safe for the knees? I just don't think this picture collage was a good choice to illustrate your point or show safe technique (in reference to the knees collapsed in ATG position shown by several of the guys)

Edit: just read the Greg Everett article. How's this?

"Spend some time on youtube watching the elite level weightlifters. You’ll notice the overwhelming majority squat with the toes out. Yet ACL tears and strains and other serious acute knee injuries are extremely uncommon among weightlifters, despite the ballistic nature of the majority of their squats.

In short, squatting with the toes out to a correct degree (i.e. not excessive rotation to accommodate ankle inflexibility) and with a proper stance width will not set an athlete up for sudden valgus knee failure, and will in fact help keep the joints moving through their intended planes of motion safely. "

Last edited by John Koshy; 05-15-2011 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:16 PM   #38
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

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Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
Her tibia and femur do not appear to be in line to me. There looks to be quite a bit of internal rotation of that tibia putting all kinds of torque on that knee. Look at the femur to foot angle, femur is tracking way outside of the foot.

Seems like having her turn her feet out 10-15 degrees with everything else the same would take a lot of torque off her knees... but whatever makes people happy
I believe Starrett's point is to put the femur way outside the foot, otherwise you end up in a situation with knee valgus as illustrated in the photo in Everett's article.

With respect to the tibia internal rotation - I'm not sure. I would imagine that if one had a ton of ankle mobility, especially "rotational," then the tibia could rotate about the base of foot and maintain neutral alignment with femur, so that no torque is placed on the knees. In other words, the ankle takes up all of the torque, not the knees.

Also, I feel that Everett fairly addressed the point that Starrett made in the referenced video. However, Starrett has previously discussed how pointing the feet straightish ahead enhances the athlete's ability to generate torque through the kinetic chain since the feet and ankles are "stacked better" (i.e. no dropping of the navicular bone). I don't believe this point was addressed.

I hypothesize that one must have sufficient mobility (i.e. a lot of it) to take advantage of this torque generating opportunity. Turning the feet out is a "work-around" for those lacking such mobility, and is why squatting feet-out is appropriate for the vast majority of athletes.

p.s. John, I believe the girl in blue is Natalie (Wolfolk) Burgener, who is a very capable lifter. If I'm correct, then the picture is undoubtedly a squat captured at half depth. Here's an analysis of her and Aimee Anaya (Nat is in the black singlet on the right):
http://www.mikesgym.org/gallery/vide...end%20side.wmv

However, I agree that the photo collage doesn't serve to prove Starrett's point very well - there are a lot of examples of knee valgus. Natalie might be the only lifter performing what Starrett is describing.

Link WFS
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:21 PM   #39
Robert Callahan
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

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Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
I believe Starrett's point is to put the femur way outside the foot, otherwise you end up in a situation with knee valgus as illustrated in the photo in Everett's article.
A) photo in Greg's article is of an elite level lifter going for a max, this photo is of a everyday girl who we can assume just wants to be healthy and fit.
B) because we are afraid of valgus knee and external rotation torque of the knee we over compensate by having a varus knee with internal rotation torque? That makes no sense. Why not have a neutral knee with no rotational torque???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
With respect to the tibia internal rotation - I'm not sure. I would imagine that if one had a ton of ankle mobility, especially "rotational," then the tibia could rotate about the base of foot and maintain neutral alignment with femur, so that no torque is placed on the knees. In other words, the ankle takes up all of the torque, not the knees.
Umm, the ankle does not rotate... at all. The planes of motion it works in are primarily dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion and secondarily inversion and eversion. If you are getting rotation at the ankle you are going to have some SERIOUS issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
Also, I feel that Everett fairly addressed the point that Starrett made in the referenced video. However, Starrett has previously discussed how pointing the feet straightish ahead enhances the athlete's ability to generate torque through the kinetic chain since the feet and ankles are "stacked better" (i.e. no dropping of the navicular bone). I don't believe this point was addressed.
A dropped navicular bone simply means they are allowing the loginitudal arch of their foot to collapse (eversion), this will in turn pull the ankle down and with it the tibia/fibula, knees, femur, and so on up the chain.

There is nothing special about feet straight that prevents your navicular from dropping. Whether feet straight or pointed out it is simply a matter of proprioception and proper cuing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
I hypothesize that one must have sufficient mobility (i.e. a lot of it) to take advantage of this torque generating opportunity. Turning the feet out is a "work-around" for those lacking such mobility, and is why squatting feet-out is appropriate for the vast majority of athletes.
I do not understand why you would want to generate torque around several joints that were not meant to do so in the first place. All you are doing is unnecessarily straining ligaments which will predispose them to injury down the road....
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:24 PM   #40
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: San Francisco Crossfit - don't turn feet out on squat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
Also, I feel that Everett fairly addressed the point that Starrett made in the referenced video. However, Starrett has previously discussed how pointing the feet straightish ahead enhances the athlete's ability to generate torque through the kinetic chain since the feet and ankles are "stacked better" (i.e. no dropping of the navicular bone). I don't believe this point was addressed.

I hypothesize that one must have sufficient mobility (i.e. a lot of it) to take advantage of this torque generating opportunity. Turning the feet out is a "work-around" for those lacking such mobility, and is why squatting feet-out is appropriate for the vast majority of athletes.
Huh? Why on earth would you *want* to generate torque on the knees? (Or the ankles, for that matter?) Full employment for knee surgeons?

FWIW, I'm flexible enough to squat ATG with toes pointing forward. But if you put a bar on my back I'm a whole lot happier with them turned out a little bit.

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