Thursday, October 21, 2010

How low can you go?

     Just squat... how simple is that... just squat. I mean, seriously, squatting just kicks ass! You do it right and you will soon become a Paleo-eating-WOD-annihilating-machine! Of course, that is, if you're doing it right. So you guessed it, today's blog is about our ever present quest to achieve perfect and consistent squats.

     The squat, or air squat, is something we will do in everyday life. Sitting down in a chair? You just squatted. Using the toilet? You just squatted (smelly). Done a CrossFit WOD? You may have squatted. Squatting is one of the first things we learn when joining a new box. We want to make sure they you know and achieve the point of performance, and have a good idea of what to do. But this is not something we learn and forget about... no no no. We need to make sure that this is a movement that we constantly train on, because they lead to great things! A heavy Clean, a monstrous Snatch (hehe), or a 2x bodyweight Back Squat. All of these will only be achieved once you have a sound and solid air squat.

Set up

     We need to be set for success, so what better way to do that than to get in a great starting position. This is what we're looking for:

  • Feet shoulder width apart with toe slightly pointed out
  • Stand tall with knees and hips extended
  • Head in "neutral position" (not craning up or down)
  • Midsection (abs) stay tight
  • Weight centered in the heels


     Now that we have a good start, we must perform a good squat. The points of performance a listed below in order(ish):

  • Chest stays up (during the entire movement)
  • Hips move first, sending them back then down
  • Knees bend (after the hips), and stay over the feet during the entire movement 
  • Lumbar (back) stays tight
  • Go down until hips break "parallel" (below kneecaps)
  • When rising, put pressure on outside of feet (like you were trying to separate the ground)
  • Finish with knees and hips open at the top
  • Repeat!


     It's bound to happen, one or two of our squats may not be dialed in. As you may have just watched, the following are common mistakes which leads to improper squats, which leads to "ouchy":

  • Knees roll inward (keep those puppies pushed out)
  • Dropping our head (can cause a loss of lumbar curve)
  • Dropping/rolling shoulders (see above)
  • Rounding our lumbar ("butt wink"/see picture below)
  • Weight shifting to the balls of the feet (keep it in the heels)
  • Not breaking below parallel (take the time to get down there)
  • Not opening all the way at the top (extend those hips!)

The dreaded "butt wink"

      You have once again been armed with an important weapon... knowledge. So spread the CrossFit gospel... you must squat! For your viewing pleasure I will leave you with someone who knows the importance of th squat. FYI:  211 kilo = 464 lbs

3,2,1 Squat!!!

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