Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop it like it's hot

     Hey hey hey! Who else is "holy crap excited"?! CrossFit games are days away, and hours from announcing the first WOD coming this Friday. Ok ok, I'll try to contain my giddy school-girl excitement about the whole thing. It's time for another ramble... boom!

     How many times have you heard: "Squatting that low is bad for your knees" or "You shouldn't go that low when you squat." Believe me, I hear that ALL the time. I am on a quest to spread the good word of full depth squats, and how truly wonderful they are for your knees. I have rambled about this before, but I think it's very important to touch on this again... so here we go!

     My answer of, full depth squats are good for you, is not widely accepted by those around me. People want facts, people want science, they want the numbers. So, here's the skinny on getting big. Your Hamstring muscle on the back of the thigh attach to the fron of the tiba. The muscles wrap around both sides and pull back as the muscles tighten (from the bottom). Now, the adductors connect fro the groin (yep, I said it) to the top or your knee. When these muscles tighten they pull back on the knee (from the top). Is this making sense?

    The only way to tighten both adductors and you hamstrings is depth. Then your knee is like a rope if you were playing a game of tug-of-war against your doppelganger. What I mean is, at the bottom of the squat there is equal pull on both sides of your knee actually keeping it in a safe position.

     I have a theory that started the "full depth is bad for your knees" myth. As the weight got heavier people took the easy way out and did not go to full depth. If you don't go to full depth you are not full tightening all the muscles around the knee. A shallow depth squat leads to tight adductors, but an exclusion of your hamstrings, leading to unequal tension to your knees. Now its like an overactive puppy pulling as hard as it can against it rope leash. It's no wonder that knees hurt!

     Ok, I hope those visuals helped in my explaination. I also hope they I have armed you with a counter-argument to the "I hate squats" movement. So treat yourself right, and hit full depth in your squat. If you do this I promise you have a long life of squatting ahead of you. What arguments have you heard against squatting? Do you hear the same things I'm hearing? Has someone told you if you hit full depth you release the Kraken and the world will end? Love to hear stories. So make the depth, keep getting stronger... and do burpees!

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Rest Day
It was a late and hellish night yesterday. It probably would have hurt my rest/recovery more if I did. So, I think this was a smart choice.

Day 103 Burpee Challenge / 5356 Burpees Total



  1. I enjoy the Clash of the Titans reference.. Didn't we talk about that last night? And I would LOVE to see you drop it like its hot. I will do my first "ramble appropriate" comment. I ALWAYS heard the "don't go too low, its all about control" or "your knees cant handle that weight once your lose momentum in the bottom." I think the first time I'd done anything at "full depth" was at rehab for a tear...which I threw a fit about since I was worried about further tearing.

  2. I don't think we talked about that, I think we were just talking about the awesomeness of Liam Neeson.

    It is true, you don't want to "lose it" in the bottom. However, what's bringing you out the bottom is those tight hamstring. You can actually "bounce" out of the bottom, and that's with those tight hamstring you get a stretch-reflex to propel you out of the bottom. You commonly see this with olympic weightlifter in the clean.

    Proper loading and good technique is key!

  3. Fyi...we were talking about Liam Neeseon...HOWEVER, we were talking about Clash of the Titans and how there will be a sequel. LOVE YOU!