|Yeah wall squats|
|Holy big deep back squat. He must have lost his oly. shoes.|
|She is probably great at everything|
There are a lot of topics that shouldn’t be discussed amongst family and friends. Along with religion, politics, and nutrition I’m thinking squat technique needs to be added to the list. I have coached with guys who swear that the proper depth is a 90 degree angle at the knee. Other experts say the thigh should be parallel to the ground. Even with that example there is a ton of grey area (the top the thigh, the bottom, the femur, what has to be parallel?). Crossfit says the proper depth of the squat is the crease of the hip must be below the knee. Me, I’m on the side of the fence that says bottom it out. I like the full Olympic style squat. Get your ass to the floor and get low, low, low. Why wouldn’t you put your knee through a full range of motion like every other joint in your body? The answer to that question revolves around difficulty. Getting your ass to the ground with a loaded bar is hard. It also exposes other inadequacies like inflexible hamstrings, a weak core, and poor balance. Furthermore, a recent article in this month’s NSCA Journal suggests that bringing the thigh in contact with the calf at the bottom of the squat reduces joint force and pressure placed on the knee while squatting. Now to hit full depth takes courage and checking your ego at the door. Bottom line is that you are not going to be able to load the exercise with as much weight and may even have to take to a little coaching to get it right. I’d suggest videoing yourself and watching it. In my opinion, the best way to train to a full squat is to put your toes and nose against a wall with your hands over head, push those tight hips back, pull your body down, drive the knees out, and work for depth. When you return to a standing position try separating the floor with your feet. Throughout the movement your weight should be distributed toward your heels. Treat each rep like a stretch and hold that bottom position for a few uncomfortable seconds. You might not bottom out on your first try but you eventually will if you work at it. Once you get the bottom position squared away and you are comfortable with being uncomfortable work the over head squat, then front squat, then, hit the big weight with the back squat. Don’t worry over the next few weeks we will go over the proper way to do those essential exercises. In the mean time try perfecting the basics – it’s harder than you think.