2/16/13

Don't Forget How To Squat


I’ve mentioned the importance of competing before. Well rumor has it that some of us at endunamoomechristoo.com will be going to College Station for a powerlifting meet. Lately I’ve been struggling with consistency on my squat, which is strange because squat is what I know best. Tight muscles have made the cognitive aspect of popping the weight harder than normal. I only plan on addressing low bar squatting with this one. I’ve already done a quickHigh Bar rundown so you can read that one if you like.

Bar Position

With low bar squatting you first have to give the bar a shelf. This point is an inch or two below high bar squatting. This will be right under the spine of the scapula. The more narrow your grip, the more musculature will be available for the bar due to contraction. Place your thumbs over the bar, don't wrap them under. By placing your thumbs on top you can create an extra angle for the bar without adding stress to your wrists.

Eye placement

Most coaches from highschool level to even some college and crossfit coaches will advice an eyes to the sky position. Most coaches use this technique to promote a chest up mentality. Now, I recommend that when praying not squatting. By cranking your head up you create cervical torque that is not only unhealthy but inhibitory. The strain can actually inhibit posterior chain activation. The stress will run all the way down to your sacrum and cause slack in the hamstrings. The last thing you want with 250 kg on your back is slack. Rippetoe, maybe you’ve heard of him, recommends a forward down stare that promotes complete neutrality of the neck when driving the bar out of the hole (bottom of the squat). A slight upward tilt of the head can be used to keep a forward glance. I see no circumstance where looking up is positive. If you plan on lifting right and heavy keep your chest up without your neck cranked.

Back Position

Simply put let the back curve where it curves, but keep it tight. In other words keep a thoracic and lordartic curve in the back. Squeezing the abs the entire time will lock it into position. Any slack can create a shear on the spine and possibly injury. The back is the moment arm between the force and load. Imagine trying to use a wrench on a bolt. Now imagine the middle of that wrench is made of soft rubber that bends when force is applied. You’ll never move the bolt with rubber back.

Hips

When descending in a powerlifting style squat you sit back. Your shins are nearly perpendicular to the floor, and your femur will end parallel. When driving out of the squat you activate your hips and adductors first. Don’t think knees, rather butt. As you extend your hips your knees will extend as well.

Knees

I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will. No matter what is happening during the squat push your knees out. External rotation of the knees (internal of the hips) allows you to sit between your hips and use the adductors. This is also anatomically sound and will prevent you from suffering some common injuries.

This is just a quick walkthrough of low bar squatting, but it doesn’t hurt. We sometimes forget the simplistic parts of a lift when we get heavy with it. Clean slate, Slam weight.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.