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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-27-2004, 05:58 PM   #11
Chris Kantarjiev
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I'm going to jump on this thread rather than start a new one - today's WOD of rock bottom squats was the first time I've done rock bottom untethered squats, and my first time doing back squats in at least 9 months. In the past, I've done squats in a Smith machine and usually couldn't/didn't get past 90 for various reasons (more form/position than flexibility, I think).

Today's squats were dead rock bottom, done with a "walk-in" stand. Flexibility is not an issue. Loads are certainly not high for my bodyweight, but at my limit at the end.

I find that I get stuck slightly above rock bottom, well before 90 - I can start moving the weight, but not very far. I had to unload twice (that was pretty exciting). My quads are pretty strong, but I can believe that my glutes don't match them.

I "feel it" in my lower back. I also notice that when I did get the maximal loads up, my knees wobbled side-to-side...

I seem to recall that in one of the back CF Journal issues, there was a comment about "At CF HQ we don't encourage our athletes to try back squats until they have a Tabata squat score of 18-20". My score is in the 13 range, and I only do them when they appear in the WOD (not often, lately).

Should I be doing Tabata squats instead of back squats? Work them into my daily routine? Something else?

Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:02 PM   #12
Gunnar Bozeman
 
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Kris & Chris

Food for thought, just my opinion.

If you want to get good at squatting, you need to squat. Squat with a weight that allows you to go as deep as you want without rounding the lower back. There is a lot of free great info on the net about squat form- do your research. A powerlifting style (i.e.: Westside type) squat will utilize the hips, glutes, & hamstrings while an athletic or oly style squat seems to hit the quads more. You can squat more PL style to parallel, but I believe ***-to-grass is more impressive and fits the Crossfit philosophy better. Some people cannot go that low. Once again, as low as possible without rounding the low back.

I suggest an athletic or oly style squat (bar high on traps, feet hip width apart, sit between the legs). Good form for you will depend on your leverages, but in general, you do not want to round your lower back, chest high, tight core, knees cannot swing in and should not go to far over your toes.

Squatting is highly individualistic. It took me about 2 years before my form got tight and setting up was intuitive. Look at Dan John's web site. I believe Overhead squats are the key to squat flexibility.

You must figure out what the problem is-form?, flexibility?, to much weight?----and fix it. Squatting big weight starts with good form and having the strength to keep it under a max load.

If you are going to use a box, barely touch it. Do not unload on it (unless you are training box squats). I use to use a string tied across my power rack to judge depth.

As we all know, opinions are like a-holes, we all have one, but for the most part, I think I speak the truth.

Good Luck


Gunnar
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Old 02-28-2004, 08:35 AM   #13
Michael Rutherford
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Download CrossFit Journal December 2002. The squat clinic article by Lauren is tremendous.

You are on the right track by including Snatch Squats (aka Overhead Squats)in your daily warm-up.

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Old 02-28-2004, 08:23 PM   #14
Chris Kantarjiev
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Download CrossFit Journal December 2002. The squat clinic article by Lauren is tremendous.

Thanks - I've read it before and just re-read it. That's where I got the notion of a Tabata squat score of 18-20 before doing weighted squats. That's a great idea, but ... what do I do when the WOD calls for squats? :-) And how should I work more squats into my workout?
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:06 PM   #15
Michael Rutherford
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Continue to incorporate squat variations into your warm-up routine. Use broom sticks or PVC pipe. Front squats will probably be easier for you. Don't worry about load until you can relax into a rock bottom position. Congratulations on wanting more from your squat program. With more practice reps you will master that bottom position.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:38 PM   #16
Chris Kantarjiev
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OK, today's WOD (well, yesterday's, but I did it today) had more squats. Air squats this time. I watched the Tabata squat video again to try to remind myself.

I don't have a ball for the bottom position, so I was doing rock bottom. The thing I noticed today that I hadn't noticed before is that my knees move forward (that is, my shins don't stay at 90 degrees) allowing my hips to move more or less up/down, where the video shows the shins pretty much at 90 all the way through.

If I try to hold 90, I have balance problems, and it *really* works my quads (to the point that I couldn't do a full 30 squats).

So ... which is preferable? And am I losing something by not stopping above rock bottom?

(Oh, and if it wasn't clear - my original problem with weighted squats isn't getting *to* rock bottom - it's getting back up. I get stuck on the way up, before I get to 90.)

Thanks again!
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Old 03-03-2004, 05:02 PM   #17
Marvin Treadwell
 
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Are you leaning to far forward when you squat?
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