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The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
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StrikeBack Offline
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Post: #26
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
PhDre said exactly what I wanted to say. The shin vertical no knee forward thing comes from equipped powerlifting where it makes sense. It is stupid to apply it to raw lifting because you have no trampoline suit to sit back into.

Knee forward over toes is absolutely safe, if you train like that from bodyweight only and up. If you have never squatted like that and decide to put your regular training weights on your back and let your knees come forward, you will suffer.

Plenty of people squat with knees over toes: every weightlifter ever in history (look at knee position at the bottom of the clean and the snatch, high bar squat, front squat), most if not all raw powerlifters (the minority are the stupid ones that listen to Rippetoe), billions of people in the third word, all of our ancestors before chairs were invented.

The vertical shin, no knee forward thing is dumb if you really think about it. Again try my simple jump as high as possible (producing maximal vertical force) test. See how high you can jump from a squat position with vertical shins, with hip draaaave.

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06-02-2015 11:52 PM
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Post: #27
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-02-2015 10:06 PM)Samseau Wrote:  
(06-02-2015 07:22 AM)StrikeBack Wrote:  


This guy has perfect form. Parallel with the ground. I see some guys swearing by deep squats yet I've spoken with lots of older dudes in their 40's and 50's who've told me to NEVER do that.

He has perfect form, yes, but that is also below parallel (taking into account the camera angle) and due to having a squat suit, he cannot go any lower. You can bet he squats lower raw in training, as his coach is a weightlifting coach after all.

Quote:FYI, before I fucked myself up with propecia, I weighed 160 at 5'8'' and could squat 315 pounds. So going parallel definately does not make one weak.

It kind of does, actually. While I normally wouldn't say anything about someone's squat if they're not a powerlifter, I'll take your case as an exception. Earlier on, you called out the best raw powerlifters on the planet at their World Championships as having poor form, yet here you are with a squat that is among their first couple of warmup weights (they'd often go empty bar -> 135 -> 225 -> 315 -> more). I'm a mediocre powerlifter in the same weight class and I can do 10 with your max. The guys in my weight class (in the video above) that you think have poor form can do 10-15 reps with my max. Do the maths, you'll see how weak you actually are.

I suggest that learning from those guys, who are at the pinnacle of their sport, is a better approach than listening to some random old guys you know. For some old people, decades of experience is just the same n00b first year repeated 20-30 times.

Quote:Also, for the guys who say they've been hurt doing parallel squats - my guess is you don't stick your hips back far enough? It should feel natural.

There is nothing natural about sticking your butt back that far while squatting. There is no human movement in any sport or our natural world where that position is natural or strong. The only exception is the Rippetoe squat and the (related) high equipped powerlifting squat.

While you're being paranoid about knee issues, you're simply swapping the shearing force around the knee lever for that over your hips and low back. Which one do you like more, your knees, your hips or your low back? The answer is to find the balance, not avoiding using knee drive completely.

Talking about old guys, check out Clarence Bass: http://www.cbass.com - he's been squatting high bar with knees way over toes since the days of black and white photography. Was a pretty famous lifter and bodybuilder of his time.

Here is his take on the very issue:

http://www.cbass.com/Squats.htm

Quote:Perhaps different squat forms are best for different body types, depending on height or torso to leg ratio? This is a possibility.

This is absolutely correct. Which is why I encourage people to go to the IPF channel (one example video above) to find the weight classes closer to theirs, find the lifters that have similar build to them and learn their forms.

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06-03-2015 12:08 AM
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Post: #28
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-02-2015 12:12 PM)RexImperator Wrote:  Not sure about the depth thing (ATG etc). I have enough flexibility to squat really low but I try to go only just below parallel because that's what I was told. Basically as high as you can go with the hips still being below the knees. I think this may be another powerlifting thing for moving more weight.

You would be right.

As a powerlifter, I only need to squat just below parallel to pass in competition. I also do sumo deadlift in competition because there's less ROM and I"m stronger with the sumo. I bench with a reasonably wide grip. Those are competition events, NOT necessarily training exercises. As long as I abide by the rules, I can do whatever I want.

However, in training, I do variations that call for much longer ROM: high bar squat, front squat, conventional deadlift, deficit deadlift, stiff-legged deadlift, close grip bench etc. Those variations make me stronger in the competition lifts.

The difference is that I'm not doing this for my ego or to impress Internet guys, I do it to lift more weights in competition. I don't squat low bar because Rippetoe says it's better for your posterior chain or because other guys do it in competition, I do it because I in fact squat more low bar (although my groove is identical to the high bar squat, just with a better leverage). I don't squat ATG high bar to impress the Squat ATG Or Die Facebook group, I do it because it makes me stronger for my competition lifts (incidentally it's a better assistant to the deadlift, I've found).

If you're training for general fitness, I'd suggest using the longest possible ROM and lifting as fast / explosively as possible. The actual weight doesn't really matter that much (although stronger is still better).

Here's the thing about the squat and ROM:

- You're better off riding all the way to the bottom with the high bar squat for knee health and strength. Stopping in the middle kills momentum and speed, as well as hurts your knees. Going all the way also helps improve your mobility as well as test it.

- If you use the lower bar position, you may find that it's not really possible to go as deep anyway without compromising your back position. But try to at least go below parallel, or as deep as possible while keeping everything nice and tight.

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06-03-2015 12:35 AM
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Post: #29
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
Quote:It kind of does, actually. While I normally wouldn't say anything about someone's squat if they're not a powerlifter, I'll take your case as an exception. Earlier on, you called out the best raw powerlifters on the planet at their World Championships as having poor form, yet here you are with a squat that is among their first couple of warmup weights (they'd often go empty bar -> 135 -> 225 -> 315 -> more). I'm a mediocre powerlifter in the same weight class and I can do 10 with your max. The guys in my weight class (in the video above) that you think have poor form can do 10-15 reps with my max. Do the maths, you'll see how weak you actually are.

What's your weight and height?

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06-03-2015 10:07 AM
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Post: #30
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-03-2015 12:08 AM)StrikeBack Wrote:  I suggest that learning from those guys, who are at the pinnacle of their sport, is a better approach than listening to some random old guys you know. For some old people, decades of experience is just the same n00b first year repeated 20-30 times.

Yeah I have found that not many older lifters you find in gyms know anything worth knowing. Most of them are throwing around the same novice weights they did 15 or 20 years ago. They haven't put five pounds on their bench press in five years.

Guys who would know something would ideally compete at the top level as well as be self coached, like Klokov or Vasily Alekseyev.
(This post was last modified: 06-03-2015 10:52 AM by Hades.)
06-03-2015 10:33 AM
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kbell Offline
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Post: #31
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
Had a weird experience today. My legs were really tight, I tend to have tight hamstrings. So when airsquatting I could only go down to parallel and that was awkward. I put on a barbell and some weight I am going bellow parallel an 1" lower than before! I almost good morning my last two reps at 175 so stopped there. I did that setup thing which is similar to how I have been doing it but seemed better.

What are good mobility for the hamstrings and inner thighs, besides what has been listed? Also when should you do long static stretches? Before or after a workout?
06-03-2015 11:52 AM
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Post: #32
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-03-2015 11:52 AM)kbell Wrote:  What are good mobility for the hamstrings and inner thighs, besides what has been listed? Also when should you do long static stretches? Before or after a workout?

I think that hamstrings do not really limit squat depth. During squats they are stretched at the hip and shortened at the knee and these two effects negate each other. Adductor (inner thigh) tightness on the other hand will severely limit the depth you can reach.

I really like this exercise before squats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIkhMWEnDSQ
It is great for adductor and general hip mobility and also for thoracic spine mobility (which is also important in squats).

As for the static stretching, I prefer to do it after the workout and I think most people do.
06-03-2015 12:40 PM
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Post: #33
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
Samseau: I'm 5'7" 160lb.

Here's the squat WR holder in my weight class, he's 5'9"




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06-04-2015 08:52 AM
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Post: #34
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
My hip is completely atrophied, after i broke my ankle i got to a 275x3 high-bar but stopped because the imbalance between legs is so great that the barbell almost falls to one side.
Now im giving low-bar a go and did an easy 225x3 the other day. Ive been to a physical therapist and he said pretty much everything is fucked from my psoas to all 3 glutes, quads, hams. Ive given up on olympic weightlifting for good.

When i squat all the way down one of my glutes goes lower than the other if that makes sense, my sane leg bends properly but the other one doesnt. These days i get pain in my hip after i wake up because i had given up daily stretching. Its been more than 2 years since my accident.

Is there something else i can do to get that hip to a 100% again? Inyections, ultrasonic treatment or something like that?
06-04-2015 09:49 AM
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Post: #35
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
The one thing that is very confusing to me, as a beginner, is all the different experts saying different things about form on the big compound exercises. It leads to an overload of information and I get to the point where I'm not sure what's correct and what's incorrect.

I cannot squat as deep as the "ideal" squat guy in the first post so I guess I need to take more time to be able to do that with just my bodyweight before continuing weight training? I don't know. There is so much conflicting info.

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06-04-2015 09:51 AM
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Post: #36
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
^Can you third world squat? It's a good warm up.

I'm experimenting with high bar after reading this thread. On my light squat day (around 200lbs), I could comfortably get deeper after primarily doing low bar squats for a long time. I think a lot of it, like StrikeBack says, is finding what works for you. It'll require experimentation.

(This post was last modified: 06-04-2015 10:07 AM by philosophical_recovery.)
06-04-2015 10:05 AM
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Post: #37
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-04-2015 09:49 AM)dog24 Wrote:  My hip is completely atrophied, after i broke my ankle i got to a 275x3 high-bar but stopped because the imbalance between legs is so great that the barbell almost falls to one side.
Now im giving low-bar a go and did an easy 225x3 the other day. Ive been to a physical therapist and he said pretty much everything is fucked from my psoas to all 3 glutes, quads, hams. Ive given up on olympic weightlifting for good.

When i squat all the way down one of my glutes goes lower than the other if that makes sense, my sane leg bends properly but the other one doesnt. These days i get pain in my hip after i wake up because i had given up daily stretching. Its been more than 2 years since my accident.

Is there something else i can do to get that hip to a 100% again? Inyections, ultrasonic treatment or something like that?

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06-04-2015 10:25 AM
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Post: #38
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
Quote:Talking about old guys, check out Clarence Bass: http://www.cbass.com - he's been squatting high bar with knees way over toes since the days of black and white photography. Was a pretty famous lifter and bodybuilder of his time.

Here is his take on the very issue:

http://www.cbass.com/Squats.htm

Thanks for this thread, but specifically for this video. I'm completely new to squats, just started doing them at the gym. I was basically doing what Clarence Bass is doing and it was working for me.

But then I got a couple of comments about not letting my knees go over my toes from some of the more experienced guys who at least seem to know what they are talking about. Trying to change up my form was difficult, and I felt like I was going to screw up my back.

But watching Bass, I feel a whole lot more confident about doing it my way.
06-04-2015 01:56 PM
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Post: #39
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-04-2015 10:05 AM)philosophical_recovery Wrote:  ^Can you third world squat? It's a good warm up.

I can't, no. I fall over on my back like a turtle unless I shift my weight to the balls of my feet.

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06-04-2015 04:09 PM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
I've done some stretching of my calves. Worth looking into. It messed with my depth until I increased flexibility there, and sounds similar to what you described.

06-04-2015 04:27 PM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
Yes dog24, try yoga, but find a studio where athletes frequent. I went to such a studio for my rehab, it was very effective. Take private class with the instructor to get more personal attention to your poses.

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06-04-2015 06:27 PM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-04-2015 09:51 AM)TheWastelander Wrote:  I cannot squat as deep as the "ideal" squat guy in the first post so I guess I need to take more time to be able to do that with just my bodyweight before continuing weight training? I don't know. There is so much conflicting info.

You don't have to get as good as him to start weight training but you should at least be able to do about 10 reps with BW to below parallel while being perfectly balanced.

Also barbell is not everything. I'd start you with goblet squat (DB or KB) instead to help you teach yourself correct squat form.

The barbell can come later.

(06-04-2015 01:56 PM)Aenigmarius Wrote:  Thanks for this thread, but specifically for this video. I'm completely new to squats, just started doing them at the gym. I was basically doing what Clarence Bass is doing and it was working for me.

But then I got a couple of comments about not letting my knees go over my toes from some of the more experienced guys who at least seem to know what they are talking about. Trying to change up my form was difficult, and I felt like I was going to screw up my back.

But watching Bass, I feel a whole lot more confident about doing it my way.

I hate the knees over the toes police as much as Jim Wendler hates the butt wink police (topic for another day!)

Don't let them see videos of say a WR squatter like Layne Norton (equal WR 300kg in the 93kg class):





His knees go a mile over his toes. Necessary due to the way he's built (very very long femur).

You'll see plenty in the IPF Youtube channel I posted earlier too.

Or every weightlifter in the history of the sport:





One of the best ever in the above video, with knees going way over toes, clearly has no idea what he's doing. Wink

Another one from the previous era:





Or get your gym buddies to try squat down and jump as high as possible with vertical shins. Take videos for the lolz and put on youtube.

If you feel good and strong, that's what your body is telling you to listen to. When I coach people, I try to teach them to listen to their body instead of to me. There are times when the form looks perfect from the outside even to a good coach, but only the lifter can feel that it's not quite right and needs to make adjustments accordingly.

(06-04-2015 04:09 PM)TheWastelander Wrote:  I can't, no. I fall over on my back like a turtle unless I shift my weight to the balls of my feet.

Poor ankle dorsiflexion, which is common. Stretching calves will help, but it's better if you try to spend more time in that position to learn it. I always get people to do this to improve their bodyweight squat:

Grab onto something for balance (power rack for example) and, while being relaxed, squat down slowly to the deepest position you can, wiggle around, bounce up and down etc. Over days and weeks, ease yourself to deeper positions and use less support for balance. Practice that everyday, twice a day for a few minutes each, or at least during warmups and warmdowns every time you're at the gym. You'll improve massively after a few weeks.

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06-04-2015 06:52 PM
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kbell Offline
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Post: #43
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
What limits the squat depth?
06-04-2015 06:58 PM
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Post: #44
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-04-2015 06:58 PM)kbell Wrote:  What limits the squat depth?

It's literally right above your post.

Ankle mobility. Lack of being in this position in American lives.

I also get tight muscles when I haven't squatted for awhile just under the glutes but feels like above hamstrings.
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2015 07:11 PM by Jetlagged.)
06-04-2015 07:05 PM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
Not quite although sitting which I do a lot of does make you stiff. Ankles I could see being part of it as well as the calfs. But for me it something either in the hip joints or the muscles around it. Without weight I can't quite get my glutes to hit the calfs. My range of motion is a lot better today than it was Wednesday though...
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2015 08:42 PM by kbell.)
06-04-2015 08:40 PM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
To be fair to Rippetoe, he does not say that the shins should be vertical, just that the knees should not keep sliding forward as you go down into the hole.

If only you knew how bad things really are.
06-04-2015 09:04 PM
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Post: #47
RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-04-2015 06:52 PM)StrikeBack Wrote:  



One of the best ever in the above video, with knees going way over toes, clearly has no idea what he's doing. Wink

Well what do you expect?

Homeboy is Chinese, they do everything ass backwards (or knees-forward as the case may be) Tongue

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06-04-2015 11:13 PM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(06-04-2015 11:13 PM)VincentVinturi Wrote:  
(06-04-2015 06:52 PM)StrikeBack Wrote:  



One of the best ever in the above video, with knees going way over toes, clearly has no idea what he's doing. Wink

Well what do you expect?

Homeboy is Chinese, they do everything ass backwards (or knees-forward as the case may be) Tongue

Actually, taking a closer look at that video, he lets his knees come inward. Especially on that last rep where he drops it after completing the movement. Isn't that more of an issue than knees over toes anyway?

06-05-2015 12:13 AM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
A slight knees in cue actually helps me out of the hole.

Different from caving in.
06-05-2015 02:05 AM
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RE: The "Squat Like A Boss" clinic
(05-31-2015 07:47 AM)StrikeBack Wrote:  

I used this setup for my squat session today. Normally I squat riptoe / starting strength style (low bar with thumbs over the bar and high elbows), and I felt so much more strong and solid using the setup in the video.

One question: I found the bar tended to rest in the tops of my palms where the fingers meet the palm. The weight would bend my hands backwards, stressing my risks. Very uncomfortable. Should I be trying to lay the bar more across the base of my palm?
06-05-2015 05:28 AM
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