Proper form for Squats

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La
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Proper form for Squats

Postby La » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:14 am

I'm doing the Holiday Squat challenge and I think I'm doing my squats incorrectly. My quads are on FIRE, but I barely feel anything in my glutes, which is where I think I should be feeling it. My colleague (whom I've been doing to squats with), says that I'm leaning too far forward - which I'm doing so that I don't fall backward!

My legs are more than shoulder width apart, and I'm going down pretty low (likely not as low as I should be, but as low as I CAN go and still be able to get back up).

Help!
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La
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby La » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:23 am

FYI, this is the Holiday Squat Challenge for those who may not have seen it on FB:
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Joe Dwarf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:29 am

These are body weight squats I'm assuming with those numbers?

This is a pretty good article with a series of videos from stumptuous.com aka Mistress Krista. It's a great site for weight training basics, especially for women.

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Jwolf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:32 am

Here's a good video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKKZ9AGYTi4

Make sure your knees don't go past your toes and your butt doesn't go past your knees (upper legs should be parallel to the floor). In the video it actually looks like his knees are going too far forward.

So your chest can go forward but your knees shouldn't. And it sounds like you might be going down too low. But you don't HAVE to go to parallel to make it count, but it should be close.

You SHOULD be feeling it most in your quads. I can't imagine doing that many... problem is the more you do the more likely you are to fall apart in form, and perhaps make mistakes that can lead to injuring your knees. I would rather do less with good form than aim for a certain number and end up with bad form.

eta: i just looked at the link that JD posted. The second video looks good but the others make my knees hurt just watching them.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Miss*Smiles » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:43 am

I have to squat with a theraband for physio. My knees "fall in" and my itb/hips take over. My knees end up burning because I am doing them wrong. With the theraband, I push my knees out to keep it up and I feel it working my quads and glutes. Since my glutes are so weak, I feel the burn there more.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby La » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:19 am

I'm breaking the number down into sets, so I'm not doing 60 all at once (I did two sets of 30 yesterday, but next time I might break it down into sets of 20).

Thank goodness today is a rest day! I can barely sit down on the toilet! :lol:
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby MINITEE » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:40 pm

It is hard to describe verbally... but I will give you some of the cues I use with clients.

Stand with your feet hip width or slightly wider apart. Too narrow and you are torquing your knees.
Weight is distributed from arch back. Do not go forward on your toes.
Push your hips BACK. Think dirty public washroom, you don't want to touch anything... lol
Go to your comfort level. You don't have to go below 90 degrees. (it took me a long time to get my form correctly enough to go super deep)
Upper body stays UPRIGHT. Many people lean over, thinking they are going lower, but you aren't.
Put your hands behind your head (like a crunch) to help keep you upright.

Let me know if this helps... Your quads will be working, but you also want to get those hips and glutes involved.

JD: I am doing the same challenge, but mixing my squats up, so my number is usually broken up into some body weight squats mixed with plie and goblet with a Kettlebell. When we get higher I will probably add in a small set of front squats with the OLY bar to keep things interesting.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Robbie-T » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:50 pm

I find what helps my form and therefore power is if I concentrate on keeping my feet flat on the floor, bum out, and look up on the way up, that helps keep my back straight.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Ironboy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:24 pm

Joe Dwarf's link (the first three steps) are good.

Jwolf's not so good. You should definitely be aiming to break parallel, unless you mobility is limited. Don't sacrifice you upright posture for deeper squat, that will come with time.

MiniTee's advice is very sound.

- As you push back with your butt, engage your hams on the way down, tilting your pelvis forwards, you want to keep them taut the whole time.
- Reach forward with your arms to counter balance when not using a weighted bar.
- Keep your back braced, maintaining a lumbar curve to help keep your hams engaged.
- Push you knees out to create torque in you ankles and hips making room for your torso to fit between your hips and thighs.
- Some limiters of deep squats are tight hamstrings, poor ankle flexibility, poor lower lumbar mobility, all these will develop with time.

The first video in Joe's link: the "rail squat" is great for practising a deep squat while taking the pressure off you back.

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Ironboy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:32 pm

MINITEE wrote:Put your hands behind your head (like a crunch) to help keep you upright.


Ooo, just saw this. We call them prisoner squats, harder to go deep, but definitely keeps you honest!

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:59 pm

This thread helps alot. I watched a video and did 50 squats. I don't feel any stress at all.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby MINITEE » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:14 pm

Ironboy wrote:
MINITEE wrote:Put your hands behind your head (like a crunch) to help keep you upright.


Ooo, just saw this. We call them prisoner squats, harder to go deep, but definitely keeps you honest!


Yes, they are prisoner squats, didn't feel the need to label them though.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Irongirl » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:31 pm

Jwolf wrote:Here's a good video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKKZ9AGYTi4



I love the guy behind on the stepper thing....think there is any weight on his legs?! ;)
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:04 pm

I am getting a case of DOMS. Maybe 50 squats? Maybe a higher incline today on the elliptic? Maybe the step platform this morning?

Wish I had done a control.... :lol:
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Re: Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Ironboy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:27 pm

MINITEE wrote:
Ironboy wrote:
MINITEE wrote:Put your hands behind your head (like a crunch) to help keep you upright.


Ooo, just saw this. We call them prisoner squats, harder to go deep, but definitely keeps you honest!


Yes, they are prisoner squats, didn't feel the need to label them though.


Good to know is not a weird " Crossfit name" ;)

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:37 pm

I just tried the prisoner style. I think I like that better. I'm more sure of not going over my toes.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Ironboy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:10 pm

Spirit wrote:I just tried the prisoner style. I think I like that better. I'm more sure of not going over my toes.


Try wiggling them in the bottom position.

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:08 pm

I use the JW video, except don't go to level cuz my knees aren't that good (ie, no cartilage in one of the knee caps). The JD videos show the squats all the way to the floor. I don't think thats good for the knees.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Ironboy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:13 pm

Spirit wrote:The JD videos show the squats all the way to the floor. I don't think thats good for the knees.


That's a myth, done properly deep squats aren't as hard on the knees as those half squats.

ETA: for people with noramal knees that aren't missing cartilage!

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby MINITEE » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:17 pm

There are two distinctly different "camps" on the depth of squats.

Before I learned proper form, balance and correction of muscle imbalance, I was of the DO NOT GO BELOW 90 camp...

Below 90, when done properly is not hard on your knees. I have PF and have never had a knee issue from squats, and I go low 90% of the time.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby MichaelMc » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:46 pm

Good info already, so I'll just support it. Form is critical: keep the back in a strong position and move deliberately (no "bounce"). Deeper will come with time: I prefer slightly lower than 90 degrees once it can be done with balance and power.

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Dr. S » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:49 pm

Robbie-T wrote:I find what helps my form and therefore power is if I concentrate on keeping my feet flat on the floor, bum out, and look up on the way up, that helps keep my back straight.


That and your weight should be on your heels not on the front of the feet (you should be able to easily bring up your toes in the air)

And butt out!
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby La » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:32 am

Dr. S wrote:
Robbie-T wrote:I find what helps my form and therefore power is if I concentrate on keeping my feet flat on the floor, bum out, and look up on the way up, that helps keep my back straight.


That and your weight should be on your heels not on the front of the feet (you should be able to easily bring up your toes in the air)

And butt out!

I'm definitely doing that - my toes were so "light" that I almost fell backward!

65 done today: 2x25, 1x15

I can't find my Theraband, so I'm going to buy another today.
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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby Ironboy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:02 am

Mobility God Kelly Starrett

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzFgLf8CC1Y

This guy obviously had good mobility in all his joints, and the one thing his videos lack is a path to get there, but as he covers in other videos, there are a number of reasons for mobility impairment and it's very hard to self-diagnose. At one point in this video he says: "By all means, stay in a pain free zone".
Last edited by Ironboy on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Proper form for Squats

Postby MINITEE » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:29 am

La wrote:I'm definitely doing that - my toes were so "light" that I almost fell backward!

65 done today: 2x25, 1x15

I can't find my Theraband, so I'm going to buy another today.


you need to distribute your weight through your arches as well.. think about "flat feet" if that makes sense? If too heavy through the heels you will feel like you are tipping back, but if you think flat feet then the weight distributes more evenly from your mid-foot back, which gives you a better base.
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