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January 10, 2011

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Superb presentation in a matching wrapping. The websites for sale this article is probably not concerned with at all are viable alternatives to rocket fuel. The buying websites process is oftentimes not at all free of hassle and disappointment.

Yes, very nice squat, despite the shoes. :)

I couldn't agree more. Many people want to race to either do cf wods or are trying to race through the wods. As a doctor of chiropractic I teach the squat and its biomechanics to people of all ages. Watch people get up from a chair. Many propel themselves forward with inertia or push with their arms to pass the weak spot of their quads. Many folks also lack the flexibility in their hip flexors to even achieve the lowest portion of the squat/watrch the heels leave the ground near the bottom. Nothing surpasses technique. If your getting hurt one of two things are happenin. You are using poor technique or you are not ready to perform the movement. That is everyones job in the cf community. Never force reps with bad technique, and don't encourage people to perform things they are not ready to do. Basics are the building blocks of perfection.
Dlb,d.c.

I have a few questions to hopefully expand the discussion:

1. Is there data to show that bad squatting technique causes knee injuries?

2. Are we underestimating the body's ability to adapt to movement variations? Regarding a movement's functionality, the body will find a way to accomplish what is being asked of it, including knees going in while finishing the squat. I'm not saying that this is the ideal, but is it THAT bad? I would think that a criterion for “bad” is if the body is being injured in doing so, but I don't have the breadth of experience to have seen such widespread squatting injures.

3. If people can't squat well because they're not strong enough and the way to get stronger is to squat more, we've entered a Catch-22. I would agree that properly squatting will strengthen the weak muscles, resulting in a better squat vs. poor squatting just relying on the strong muscles. Is that what you mean?

4. On point 3, would it be a fruitful endeavor to train weak muscles with some special exercises (for posterior chain and maybe adductors)? I know this smacks of a globo gym mentality, but does it have to?

5. Regarding Kevin's point about squatting 385 vs. 225 pounds - which is better? If he was at the same fitness level for each lift, functional emphasis would say that the technique that allowed him to squat 385 is better because it produced more force (and likely more power) - a measure of fitness.

6. Following on 5, is there a danger of overemphasizing technique at the expense of fitness? The beauty of initial CrossFit training is the emphasis on proper technique, but eventually you must say "3, 2, 1, Go!” During the WoD, everyone’s technique suffers to some degree as fatigue sets in, but I would postulate that the stronger a person is, the less severely the technique will suffer. Squatting with a PVC pipe is great for technique, but in order for the weak muscles to be strengthened beyond the bodyweight squat limit, weight must be added. The end result is a stronger squatter with better technique throughout the WoD.

7. As a coach, how far do you allow someone’s technique to degrade during a WoD before pulling back the reins and forcing them to either slow down or lower their weight or both?

Start using that Glute-Ham developer the way it was designed to be used. It really is a great tool to develop the glutes, hams, and calves. Weak hams = weak knees!

Another great article from your mad mind. Thanks for teaching the teachers and giving us ammo.

-joe t

Good Post! Wish someone would have taught my old Level 1 coach this information. I'm glad I finally figured it out, better late then never.. I scaled from doing a horrendous max close to 200 lbs to work on 65lbs with my butt back and knees not going in... It effects everything and not just your knees, but weakness effects the back and the whole body. It is serious. When someone comes to Crossfit without ever touching a barbell you look up to the coach... when your back and knees go bum and you find out they never taught you the mechanics and just left it at you had an odd body type and are not made for lifting it just doesn't seem right... A good coach means everything!! I'm sure I was the gym rat everyone could point out with my knees tracking in and over my toes and my butt always sticking out. GOODBYE to those days! haha.

This is an EGO-thing. I sucked it up, and retrained my body to squat properly.

Thought I was a badass with 385#... Now, I'm at 225#, but doing it correctly.

Thanks Freddy, and a shout out to Diane at CF San Francisco for teaching me right.

Freddy, this post hits painfully (har) close to home. I can personally relate to the quad dominance created by poor squatting, along with the resulting knee pain, something that came out exceptionally fast for me due to preexisting acute knee trauma. Trust me, it's a b**** to fix!!

Something else I learned the hard way recently thanks to KStar is that my hyper-arched lower back (non-neutral spine) was preventing the glutes/hams/thingsthataresupposedtosupportyourknees from engaging properly when getting to the bottom of a squat. This is pretty common in women, similarly painful to the knees, and again, a total b**** to fix. But hey, gotta start somewhere!

Hope you all are well down at One World :)

When I first started CrossFit I sucked at squatting so I did 50 squats every day no matter what..come rain, shine, earthquakes, stock market crashes...did that for over a year and a half. Got out of doing it, but maybe I need to start it up again. Good post, Freddy.

Maybe we should do air squats as part of our warmups every day until we all get them right in our WoDs.

Great post Freddy!

Eric had me doing box squat drills as well some time ago. They helped tremendously with my technique!

I'll see you guys on Friday!

I don't care what anybody says Freddy...you DO know squat!

Miss you bro, hope all is well :-)

Very well put Freddy, I personally know I constantly need to work on my squat form and it's too easy to get sucked into trying to compete with others. I will make it a point at our box to concentrate on technique and proper movement. At 48 with an aching and broken body from the rigors and stupidity of my younger military days I need to ensure I can walk on my own whe I get to my 90's.

My opinion is a person shouldn't even be doing a WOD until they can do the movement correctly. My people don't get to even do CF until they can pass all my movement requirements (squat, deadlift, press) and have a baseline of strength developed. I know this is a luxury since I don't need to pay the bills with my hobby.

Good post (again!).

Matt

Fantastic post relating to virtuosity! You nailed the speed v. technique argument right on the head. If the technique is learned poorly when fatigue sets in the poor technique will rear its ugly head.

Outstanding post Freddy. Something that I agree is getting lost. Basics of movement is where we should be coaching. Hope all is well. -Bob

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