squat technique help

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by your_perfect_enemy, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. your_perfect_enemy
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    your_perfect_enemy Well-Known Member

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    So I recently started adding squats into my workout, which I recently started back doing full workouts Tuesday. I'm a 3 set guy (I know theres been threads about this lately but I'm stuck in my ways) so I did 3x10, felt a little twinge in my knee on the last few of the last set, didnt think anything of it and didnt notice it the rest of the night. Yesterday, the day after, I went for a run and felt pretty good for the first mile plus and then the lower outside portion of my knee really started hurting (I can only assume the two are related). I thought maybe I could walk it off and tried running on it again after a few minutes and it just got worse and got sore again on the walk to work. Even being somewhat of a hypochondriac, I'm not too worried and think I just tweeked and need to rest it a few days.

    Seeing as I have never had any training on the excercise, what are some tips for proper normal squat techniques so that I dont hurt my knee, or anything else, anymore?
  2. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about the knee pain. Almost goes with the territory for the competitive type. But I'd gladly trade my medial knee pain for your lateral knee pain! the barbell squat is a fantastic exercise. But as it has lots of moving parts, I highly recommend getting some coaching. Anyway, without actually seeing you squat:

    (1) Outside knee pain could range from LCL or Meniscus injury. ITB Syndrome is typically seen in runners. And on a personal note, as a former distance runner, running AND barbell squats never worked very well for me. Eventually I had to choose one over the other.

    (2) Very common squatting errors include:

    (a) too much weight

    (b) too rapid descent

    (c) not addressing certain muscle imbalances

    (d) not 'sitting back' into your squats

    (e) knees migrating inward/outward

    (f) obviously there are more

    If you could somehow send me a video of yourself squatting I'd be happy to look at it. But don't hesitate to see a medical specialist about it. If there is an actual tissue tear, or something of that nature, better to catch it early.

    Further note: nothing wrong with 3 X 10. However, when adding a relatively unfamiliar movement, I favor lower reps. In general: low reps = better focused on learning movement pattern.
  3. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Also: my own knees typically fare better when I'm spending a few minutes, most days, in the third world squat position.
  4. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    To add to what Dream said, filming yourself squating or having a professional view your form is the way to tell if you are not performing the lift correctly. You can look up proper squat form and find videos on youtube that explain it and show others doing it. Though, having that image in mind might not translate to what you then do in the gym.
  5. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    As a reference point for how heavy you should train, I can't improve upon Kelley Baggett's advice: train most of the time with a weight light enough such that you could hold the first rep in its hardest position for two seconds. For many that would be at or near the bottom of the squat.
  6. G8RBrave
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    G8RBrave Super Moderator VIP Member

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    One thing I've found that has greatly helped my form is to point my toes upward during the squat. It forced me to keep my weight back on my heels and use my glutes and hams to push rather than my quads. This relieved the pressure on my knees.

    I believe there may be some disagreement here with what I am saying though.
  7. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Sure, some would probably run screaming from the room on hearing "point toes upward." But it makes sense that it would redirect the load to your quads as there is a connection between big toe contact and quad activation. My principle concern would then become balance.
  8. G8RBrave
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    G8RBrave Super Moderator VIP Member

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    Balance becomes more difficult with that technique, though you kind of learn with time. But, frankly I'd rather fall backwards than hurt my back or knee again.
  9. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Can't argue with that in the least. And count yourself lucky that you so readily identified glute activation as the antidote to your knee pain. What I think I'm beginning is that the glutes aren't the answer to everything, just lots of things.
  10. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    I'm taking a break from doing weighted squats while I focus entirely on HIIT workouts. Doing body-weight squats in my Tabata routeine, which seems to be helping with my form. Toes out a little bit, getting back further on my heels and getting a nice arch in my back. This is an absolutely killer workout. I've almost passed out at the end of the later sets. Feel great the rest of the day.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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  12. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Well the kettlebellworkout.com referenced study just says that is generates more power and has no load or impact as compared to back squats and jump squats. But, the moves seem very different to me. Wouldnt comparing goblet squats or some other variation be a better comparison. If I was worried about load or impact I would switch to a goblet squat before a kettle bell swing.
  13. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Hehe, just me stirring stuff up again. You might quibble with the study. I, on the other hand, would quibble with the kettlebell-worship. I'm sure there are people who would be nervous about my contention that you could just as easily use a dumbbell for swings.

    Fair point on 'power output.' What does that mean ? Often, people use 'power' and 'strength' interchangeably. Moreover, no, you're not going to get the sort of quad-loading with swings as you would with squats. Although I doubt that the quads would shrivel up if you emphasized the posterior chain for a time. And I envision the swings as complementing the squat. Swing better, squat better.

    My overriding point is to do battle with the "exercise you can't do without" crowd.
  14. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Since the move incorporates added movement it seems to me more "power output" would follow. I just dont think its such a good comparison, maybe to the jump squat, but not the back squat. It also seems that the rocking motion allows for momentum to build up which I would guess increases power output. Though this is certainly not my area of expertise.

    Of course if you cant squat there are plenty of other options and yea I would do swings with a dumbbell before I went out of my way to find a kettlebell.
  15. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    For the average trainee, I'm not a stickler on distinctions between rapidly applying force and less-rapidly applying force. And this bears on the discussion we're having on the S & C thread. Take a relatively weak person, ask him/her to choose between squats or swings ... and you can get them appreciably stronger with either. and for the record, I wouldn't be as squeamish as the kettlebell guy about starting a healthy and relatively mobile person out with squats day one.
  16. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Before I forget, going in another direction, I remember perusing a study that suggested that swings were superior to plyometrics. But then I suppose that might be surmised from this study.

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