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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 10-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
Pieter Van Der Bijl
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Increasing Squat Depth

My Goal is to be able to be able to maintain an arch in my lower back while squatting about 1 inch below parallel, in a normal low bar back squat.(No butt wink at the bottom)
My technique seems to be fine as im doing everything that is supposed to be done eg:knees out, trying to spread the floor with my feet, heels shoulder width apart, chest up ect.
The limiting factor seems to be my groin flexibility.
I have been performing isometric stretching versions of the 3rd world squat every evening to really stretch my groin attempting to get lower.

So basically i want to ask the experts, if you had to make me be able to achieve this goal as soon as possible and your life depended upon it, what would you have me do?
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Any chance you can post a vid of you squatting?

From your post I get the sense you've checked out Kelly Starrett's Mobility Wod. That's got some good advice.

I don't feel like the squatting position itself stretches the groin as much as butterfly stretches, leg spread out bending forward or legs spread out while sitting and then bending forward.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Become very familiar with the mobilitywod.com site. Another guy has groin limitations, I posted mwod recommendations here: http://board.crossfit.com/showpost.p...3&postcount=12

wfs
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
Pieter Van Der Bijl
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Here is a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN3rQYazGpg

I have not seen MWOD before. It looks like an amazing resource and I will definitely spend time going through it.
I have done the butterfly stretch before.
Iv tried out the stretch against the wall and it seems fantastic. Going to see how far i can get with it.

How long do you think it should take me to reach this goal?
Thank you for the insight
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

So basically i want to ask the experts, if you had to make me be able to achieve this goal as soon as possible and your life depended upon it, what would you have me do?[/quote]

Seriously, I would get your squat past 60kg as soon as humanly possible. I would have you add a couple kilos every workout until you were squatting 160kg x 5. But that's just me.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter Van Der Bijl View Post
How long do you think it should take me to reach this goal?
From the video it very well could be groin tightness but I don't have that trained of an eye to tell.

The timeline for your goal will be determined by
a) are you affecting change in your problem areas?
b) are you doing this consistently?
c) are you doing this frequently?

answers:
a1) You need to figure out your problem areas. The quickest way is to be seen by a physiologist/kinesiologist/physical therapist who will assess your range of motion all of the relevant movements/muscles, tell if this is muscle stiffness (think foam rolling) vs. muscle tightness/shortness (stretching), see if there are any joint capsule or neurodynamic issues, etc. The other option is to do this yourself by doing the MWOD and making good note of the mobilizations that "feel like a shaman's blow." These will become your staples.
a2) 2 minutes per mobilization minimum
b) do it everyday
c) according to Kelly Starrett, 3x a day gets you a "C," and 5x a day gets you an "A."


Ok, couple more things:
1) You might be able to squat below parallel today! Get some blood flowing and then do some mobilizations before your workout. Any loss of muscular power output will be vastly outweighed by your improved position and mechanical advantage. If you follow the mobs up with some activation work (e.g. glute bridges) and/or dynamic flexibility (e.g. leg swings), there might be no loss of power output at all. Strengthening your newfound range will reinforce your mobility improvements as well so it becomes more permanent.
2) search cathletics.com for a video on "squatting," "seminar," "squat seminar," something like that. There was a video posted about how to use your hip flexors to maintain your lumbar curve.

Last edited by Ben Moskowitz : 10-11-2011 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:11 AM   #7
Pieter Van Der Bijl
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Andrew I was squatting 95kg 5x5 and it was straining my lower back, more and more the more weight i added. I want to get my squat as high as possible as soon as possible, but I think technique comes before weight.

Ben Thanks for the great advice.
I have seen a biokinetist but this was not very helpful, he just gave me some general stretches. He also had never heard of a low bar squat and when i showed him, said that it looked dangerous. I find tackling the problem by myself with online advice to be much more effective.

When i get in the squat position, if i pause just before my back rounds, i can sink lower to parallel in about 3 seconds while maintaining the arch. Could this be a sign of Stiffness?

Other wise i have implemented your advice:
Do mobility work 5 times per day, everyday.
Do mobility and activation work before a workout.

One more question:
I have tried doing the seated groin stretch(side splits) and get pain on the inside of my knees. I have read Relax into Stretch by Pavel Tsasouline and he says that this is because your tendons are weak and you should not try increase your range of motion. Should i just leave this out and focus on other stretches?
Thanks
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter Van Der Bijl View Post
When i get in the squat position, if i pause just before my back rounds, i can sink lower to parallel in about 3 seconds while maintaining the arch. Could this be a sign of Stiffness?
best way to tell is try massaging out your quads/IT band/glutes/whatever with a lacrosse ball or foam roller and then retest your squat and see how it feels.

Quote:
One more question:
I have tried doing the seated groin stretch(side splits) and get pain on the inside of my knees. I have read Relax into Stretch by Pavel Tsasouline and he says that this is because your tendons are weak and you should not try increase your range of motion. Should i just leave this out and focus on other stretches?
Thanks
I get this too, usually with this kind of stretch http://www.trickstutorials.com/images/s37.jpg. I basically stay out of the pain free range and try to relax past it. When it comes to standing side splits, I prefer to use the "horse stance." See this article: http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch02.html

It looks like you can take the horse stance all the way into a full side split (see this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGjEeChs4tk) so I think this is a good workaround.

links wfs
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Squat depth didn't look too bad to me.

The thing I noticed and this might be why it strains your back is that you start the squat by leaning your chest forward--this puts the weight farther off your center and will put more strain on the low back.

Start the squats by pushing your butt back while keeping your chest up and keep the chest up as best you can. The lower body can lean forward but not from the upper back but the hip/low back.

Last edited by Robert Fabsik : 10-17-2011 at 08:53 PM. Reason: mispelled "thing"
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:44 PM   #10
Collin Thompson
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Re: Increasing Squat Depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
Squat depth didn't look too bad to me.

The think I noticed and this might be why it strains your back is that you start the squat by leaning your chest forward--this puts the weight farther off your center and will put more strain on the low back.

Start the squats by pushing your butt back while keeping your chest up and keep the chest up as best you can. The lower body can lean forward but not from the upper back but the hip/low back.
Yep. Leave your mouse pointer where the barbell starts at the top of the squat on the video screen, click the vid screen to play it then watch yourself go all the way down and click again to pause it, you can see how much of a straight line you aren't making during your descent (compare where your mouse pointer is with where the bar is at the bottom).
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