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Old 02-18-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
Adam Reed
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Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

I started Starting Strength last month and made good progress at first on my squats, from 75 to 150lbs. I then stalled, which is a ridiculously low weight for someone my size/age: 6'1", 198lbs, 22 y.o. (~20% bf). I think a lot of it was due to poor form (some of it might also have been nutrition, I was only eating 2600-2700 calories/day, I've jacked that way up since).

I've been really focused on form since then, and have been reading every bit of info and watching every video I could find. I scheduled a few sessions with someone at CrossFit Boston, but was hoping I could get a few pointers so I don't waste the next few workouts before my session.

What I see is lumbar relaxation at the very bottom. Could I be going an inch or two too low? Maybe I just need to stretch my hamstrings more. In this video (reduced to 115lbs) I tried very hard to focus on pushing my knees out and getting hip drive, hopefully my knees aren't sliding forward at the bottom. Thanks for any tips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkKyoY0Y2bo (WFS - oops, forgot to add)

Last edited by Adam Reed : 02-18-2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #2
George Mounce
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

1) Slow down, you are dropping into the squat which is bad.

2) Your lower back is rounding really badly (pause your video when you are at the bottom at 25 seconds in), which is probably a byproduct of going way too fast and dropping into the squat. Don't go so deep until your form improves and you can hold your lower back in the correct position all the way down.

3) Make sure your video is WFS.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:01 PM   #3
Greg Pieris
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

Descent is too fast and it looks like you're relaxing hamstrings to reach depth. The hamstrings slacken and lose control of the pelvis, which causes a loss of lumbar extension.
The sum of all this is loss of hip drive.
Everything else is fine. A better tempo (ie slower, tighter descent) might fix everything.

Static stretching is IMO counterproductive in your case - longer hamstrings could result in them being even more relaxed at depth. Just focus on a slower, tighter descent and the lumbar extension. Only go as deep as you feel the bounce in your hamstrings as they are stretched out, and drive back up hard. After a few days of doing this correctly, the weight of the barbell will provide enough of a stretch.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:13 PM   #4
Adam Reed
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

Ok thanks. I guess I had the idea in my head that the bounce needed a bit of a quick pace.

Would this be a good tempo to mimic? Or should I aim even slower until I get my hamstrings fixed?

Coach Rip squatting -- (takes him roughly 30-50% longer to hit bottom than me, or .2-.3 seconds longer)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVKEl4Wxoqc (WFS)
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:26 PM   #5
Greg Pieris
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

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Originally Posted by Adam Reed View Post
Would this be a good tempo to mimic? Or should I aim even slower until I get my hamstrings fixed?
I think that's a good pace, but the correct pace is the one that allows you maintain as much tension as possible during the descent.

This might be slower until you get used to the feeling.

In SS (2nd Ed), Rippetoe says something to the effect that if your descent is a lot slower faster than your ascent, you're dropping too quickly. The focus should be speed on the way up. Thinking "up, up, up" the whole time is a good way to get the tempo right. This is a good cue for keeping tight on bench press too.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:06 PM   #6
Gabriel desGarennes
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

i couldnt get past the jerks saying they can front squat that within earshot of you. Talking smack while someone is mid lift is bs.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
Glenn Pendlay
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

Adam,

I admire you. Judging from the comments from the peanut gallery, you are not working out in a friendly environment. Yet you are doing it, and here asking advice. Again, I admire you. I dont know if I could have done the same at your age.

i would like to help you out more than is possible on the message board. Could you please call me at 940 224 9841... and no, putting my phone number out there is no big deal, its all over the place online as it is.

If you dont know me from Adam, and I have no expectation that you do, I have some experience in training, a number of years, and have done fairly well training myself and others. You can search my name on this site or on google to see what you think.

please call me when you are able, if I dont answer, please call back, as I am on the phone quite a bit throughout the day. I look forward to talking to you if you are willing.

I hope this is not a violation of any board rules. I just get kind of hot when I watch that vid and hear the comments, some will understand, I hope.

glenn
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:50 AM   #8
Sam Ser
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Pendlay View Post
Adam,

I admire you. Judging from the comments from the peanut gallery, you are not working out in a friendly environment. Yet you are doing it, and here asking advice. Again, I admire you. I dont know if I could have done the same at your age.

i would like to help you out more than is possible on the message board. Could you please call me at 940 224 9841... and no, putting my phone number out there is no big deal, its all over the place online as it is.

If you dont know me from Adam, and I have no expectation that you do, I have some experience in training, a number of years, and have done fairly well training myself and others. You can search my name on this site or on google to see what you think.

please call me when you are able, if I dont answer, please call back, as I am on the phone quite a bit throughout the day. I look forward to talking to you if you are willing.

I hope this is not a violation of any board rules. I just get kind of hot when I watch that vid and hear the comments, some will understand, I hope.

glenn

DO THIS!!

it's a very generous offer.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:23 AM   #9
Gabriel desGarennes
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Re: Squats: too deep, not enough hamstring flexibility?

exactly my thoughts glenn. Glad you offered such a thing. Adam, take him up on this PLEASE
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