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Old 03-09-2014, 08:22 AM   #1
Lynn Martin
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What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

I finally joined a box just over a month ago. I'd been holding back because I knew that I can't squat and, since the squat is needed for so much, I figured why spend the money? I don't recall ever being able to squat without falling on my rear. But I wasn't able to fix it myself. So I decided to see what would happen if I went through onramp.

I didn't get a whole lot of focused help during the onramp, but since then, I've had several coaches take me through squat therapy. But I've gotten very different advice. I can't go very far down and I also can't get my arms straight up overhead.

So one coach had me in a wider stance (saying that's normal for tall people- I'm 5' 11" female) and farther from the wall so that I can go deeper. I got down to 2 35 lb plates with a wall ball on top. Then, yesterday a different coach said I shouldn't have a wider stance, and I should be closer to the wall and be focusing on my upper body and arm alignment. In this situation I can only get down a couple inches before I start to tip backward. The second coach said this is OK and a sign that I'm using correct form.

So now I'm confused. Whose advice should I use moving forward? Or is there a role for both?
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:29 AM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

I tend to agree with the wider squatting coach right now. Once you get stable wider you'll be able to move it in more and keep working it.

Also, without a picture/video, its tough to know if he is having you go too wide. But having your feet wider than shoulders is fine. You know you are going too wide if your struggling to keep your knees over your feet/ankles.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:53 AM   #3
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

+1 Robert's answer.

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Old 03-09-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
Brian Strump
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

Keep in mind, there are also times where both coaches can be correct, but offer different advice are a particular movement.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
Brendan McNamar
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

Every human is slightly different. When fixing a squat there can be many different answers & problems. I understand as a paying member it can be very confusing to get different advice from different coaches.

When this situation comes up in my gym we recommend you work with 1 coach on solving the problem. This way you are not changing multiple variables at the same time and getting confused about what works and what doesn't work.

An organized systematic process will get your squat fixed and allow you to continue to make progress.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:49 PM   #6
Steven Wingo
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

Make sure to tell the coaches you have been given different explanations so they can get on the same page. Neither is necessarily wrong, even though it sounds like they may have different approaches for progressing your form. But they need to know they have given you different instructions so they can provide you a clear road forward.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:38 AM   #7
Alex Burden
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

This is going to happen no matter where you go...

But...

What does your normal squat look like and does it feel comfortable? This is your starting position and a base to train with and then from this make adjustments but only small ones.

A coach should be able to see from your natural position what needs to be done to ensure you can squat correctly wihout the risk of injury. Whether this is a wide or smaller stance makes no difference but if it feels wrong then it is not always good. Sometimes things feel wrong even though they are correct but it is due to muscle memory and training on something you are not used too.

I am 6ft tall and my stance is slightly wider and i have no problems with my kness or back and no one has ever comments on my stance, just he position of the knees when i desend.

It is also important to get the top part correct, where the bar is on your shoulders, arm position, breathing and so on....

so ask a few more questions and see what they say....
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:30 AM   #8
BrandonSmith
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Post Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

I took the mobility seminar this weekend and when it comes to squatting create as much torque as you can while keeping your abs tight and squat to depth without losing torque and a tight core, stand as wide as you need to while doing that for squats.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:38 PM   #9
Lynn Martin
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

I definitely considered the possibility that both could have a point.

Next time I go in, I'll make sure Coach A knows what input Coach B gave me. My work schedule doesn't allow me to go in mornings during the week, but I do go mornings on weekends. The same coaches aren't there morning vs evening.

I knew going into this that flexibility/mobility would be huge issue. I'm finding out I have more limitations than I realized! Almost anything involving the squat motion gets scaled to squat therapy, so I have plenty of opportunity to practice!
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:11 PM   #10
Dean Lehmkuhler
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Re: What to do when advice from box coaches differs?

The first question is WHY can't you squat. Tissue tension limitations or strength/motor control problems. All the mobility work in the world won't fix a motor control problem and vice versa. If you can find a SFMA practitioner (chiro or PT) I'd start there.
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