10.09.2013

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When I tore my hamstring last year it was during a time I had been neglecting my squats, and oh did it remind me that I needed them in my life!
While high reps will help with hypertrophy and leg size, low reps will fuel strength, but remember – high reps take the longest to recover from! Proper squatting forms the basis of any performance system and is essential to meaningful function as an athlete and human. I understand and share the pride that comes with the ability to squat deep while lifting some serious weight. So how do we determine best squat width for depth and performance (and to help prevent hip pain and butt winking)?
The sooner the femur runs into the pelvis, the less depth you’ll achieve and squat numbers will plateau. Performing this test on your hands and knees allows you to assess the hip and core without bringing other structures into the equation. Once you’ve found the width that allows the most depth without impinging or butt winking, this is where you should start when squatting.
Those who show poor motor control in this test and have hip or low back pain will most likely need to correct this for successful rehabilitation and return to squatting. In so many cases, we can prevent butt winking and un-impinge the hip with appropriate movement patterns and motor control exercises rather than rushing to surgery.
So, why do athletes end up toeing out (point their toes out) excessively in the bottom of the squat? Are you the guy who’s pinky slips out from under the bar during a max clean and jerk? I’ve been really busy lately with T21C stuff and as a result feel that I have neglected this blog. I chose the picture at the beginning of this post for a specific reason : it is a simple depiction of a body weight squat. Because when barbell squat is used it is automatically implied that the barbell is loaded on the upper back in some manner, over the majority of the spine, and said barbell is not on a track system of any kind (such as a smith machine). This is how utterly fucking sloppy the herd-thinking zombie mass of broscience has gotten in this context. I’ve come to the conclusion that if one really values strength training, and the squat in particular, you have to necessarily be against the free standing barbell back squat, to at least some minimal degree. I mean come on, what better way to work the neck than to stick a loaded barbell on top of the head as big as a man.
In the end and all jokes aside, I am a big proponent of strength training and of the squat. The exercise does not get a free pas when otherwise very intelligent people recommend them.


CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. It could not be more transparent that you continue to post nonsensical squat articles because those are the only posts that drive any significant traffic to your blog. Actually I think the highest viewed post on this site is a book review … this blog does not provide a salary either.
Interesting that infantry and other specialized ground units usually recommend against loaded squats.
I havent cared to comment on it much, partly because it doesnt get so much magic associated with it. If you’re going to make claims that the squat is the worst exercise ever you really need to provide objective evidence. It seems to me that your understanding of exactly what is going on during a squat is incorrect. In college, I remember washing dishes with my roommate while listening to Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back,” sitting back into a squat position while soapy-handed. After months of physical therapy and doing more squats than you can shake a stick at, I rebuilt that torn hamstring and will never not include squats into my daily routine again. You'll also get access to top running content including training plans and stories on gear, nutrition and recovery. In my opinion, the ability to control the spine and pelvis is a prime determinant in the performance ceiling of athletics and human function so don’t lower that ceiling with improper movement patterns. Focus on the many variables we can change including squat width, mobility and improving motor control.
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That will change soon, and in the meantime, here’s a roundup of squat related posts as well as some current thoughts. This is an important distinction to make, so I appreciate the clarity in posts like this from MAS. As Greg Swann has put it in other contexts, this does not mean you have to run around pulling intellectual weeds 24 hours a day — a waste of time. He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.
A lot of the software was really out of date though, so maybe there are other problems as well with the hosting account.
If you do, I think they are better than barbell back squats, for the reasons you mentioned.


They often blow up the thighs beyond what is desirable for mobility and agility reasons, and ultimately can cause lower back issues.
However you seem fixated on credentials rather than what is actually going on with and during a BBB squat.
It is what I see as an obsession with credentials, and more specifically, truth from authority, rather than authority from truth.
It was part of our very regimented fitness routine that included hundreds of squats, which did their job despite the late-night eating and adult-beverage drinking that often goes hand in hand with college life.
Whether I do a set at the gym, while waiting in line at the grocery store or for the two minutes I brush my teeth every morning and evening, I’ll never again forget about my trusty friend — and you shouldn’t either. Pretend there is a chair one to two feet behind you and, keeping your feet planted, you have to get your butt back far enough to sit in the chair or you’ll land on the ground. The type of squat you do (high bar, low bar, box, free, front) is not nearly as important as the fact that you are squatting. In fact, they were the only leg exercise I liked out of what was available to me, especially after multiple knee dislocation events.
The exercise remains stupid regardless of how great or how poor the advice in general is from such advocates otherwise. But with high squatting volume in any performance system we need to ensure it’s reproducible and leading to potential injury. Regardless of starting squat width or structural variation, this does NOT change the essential movement principles of the squat. I don’t do them though, havent done any in a long time, and see no need for them with better alternatives around. Now, as a runner with several marathons and half marathons under my belt, I take my squats very seriously and owe my dropping PRs to this glorious exercise.
The knees should stay over the ankles and should not push forward over the toes at all when sitting back. These same biomechanics also cause butt winking where there is a reversal of the lumbar spine causing a loss of segmental control. Feet should be straight, knees tracking over the foot, shins vertical as possible for as long as possible, hips externally-rotated. My current thinking is that this gives the trainee a lot more sensory feedback than a BB squat.



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