Squats

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tennis828
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Squats

Post by tennis828 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:06 pm

Hi!

Alright, so in my routine, I've always used leg press as my big leg movement, but today I tried squats. I've done them before but not many. I did them with a trainer today to make sure I had the form and everything.

When i did the barbell squats, it seemed like i was bending at my waist too much and that was putting too much pressure on my lower back. I think it could've been caused by my general inflexibility, especially down there in my hamstrings, glutes, etc. So then we tried the smith machine, which you can obviously take a lot of pressure off your back and focus on legs, but that also obviously takes out the whole stability deal.

So i was wondering, would it make sense for me to just use the smith machine to build up to barbell squats? I'm trying to focus a lot on flexibility too.

It seemed like when i did the slanted leg press it also put a lot of pressure on my lower back.

Does anyone have any recommendations? or does anyone know of anything that could help me solve this problem with my squats?

All feedback is very much appreciated. Thank you.


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Post by Dissident » Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:53 pm

pdellorto wrote:Matt,

A guy over on the crossfit boards made a series of squat videos. They're full of good tips on squatting, stretches to allow deeper squats, accessory exercises, etc.

Here is the first one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq8CWv8UPAI

There are six all told right now.

I recommend these because they're a goldmine for me. Check my "how is my back squat" thread to see how deep I go now...I want to get deeper with good form and those videos have given me lots to try.

Personally I enjoy Deadlifts and I'm learning to love squats. You don't have to do them, but if you learn to do them well you can move lots of weight and gets lots of benefits.

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:01 pm

The problem with the smith machine is that your body conforms to the bar path, not vice-versa. That's not good if your natural, safe body path isn't identical to the bar path, and it doesn't teach you how to lift without the smith machine either.

Better to work on your barbell squats. You say you're bending over at the waist too much - you might want to work on your form, try to keep more upright and keep the lower back arched (it's harder to fold over forward with an arched lower back).

You can also check out this series of videos called Squat Rx. Here is a link to video #1.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq8CWv8UPAI

Hope that helps. Me, my squats suck badly. One of my beginner friends did his first really heavy set (as opposed to 8-rep sets of way too little weight) and already did a 5 rep set above my 1RM. Grr. So I'm watching those videos and practicing. :D

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Stephen Johnson
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Re: Squats

Post by Stephen Johnson » Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:47 pm

tennis828 wrote:So i was wondering, would it make sense for me to just use the smith machine to build up to barbell squats? I'm trying to focus a lot on flexibility too..
You can continue to do leg presses (to keep your leg strength up) while you practice doing squats with light weights or even an empty bar. Once you get the form down, adding weight will be easy.

If you really have problems with forward lean, consider doing front squats.

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Post by stuward » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:12 pm

Light weight overhead squats help with your form as well. You get immediate feedback if you are too far forward and it forces you to keep the correct arch in your back. It also helps in your ankle and hip flexibility.


Kenny Croxdale
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Re: Squats

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:48 am

When i did the barbell squats, it seemed like i was bending at my waist too much and that was putting too much pressure on my lower back. I think it could've been caused by my general inflexibility, especially down there in my hamstrings, glutes, etc.
Your problem may or may not be a lack of flexibility.

As an example, I bend forward when I squat. My legs are the weak link in my squat. Thus, I tend to use my lower back when the weight gets heavy. Individuals (such as myself) with a long torso and strong lower back then to squat this way.

While working on technique will help will help but not complete eliminate using the lower back.
So then we tried the smith machine, which you can obviously take a lot of pressure off your back and focus on legs, but that also obviously takes out the whole stability deal.
The Smith machine might be a nice way to transition over to a regular squat. Since my weak point is my leg strength, I've found increasing my leg strength somewhat helps via improving technique to some extent but not complete eliminate the forward lean.

Two of the best exercises that I have found are belt squats and step ups (basically a one legged squat). Both of these exercises allows you to over load the legs without beatin up the lower back.
So i was wondering, would it make sense for me to just use the smith machine to build up to barbell squats? I'm trying to focus a lot on flexibility too.
As I mentioned above, the Smith machine might be a good way to transition into the a traditional squat.
It seemed like when i did the slanted leg press it also put a lot of pressure on my lower back.
This is usually caused by going too deep in the leg press and rounding you lower back to allow you to get down. If so, stop the leg press movement prior to rounding you lower back.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by TimD » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:32 am

Kenny gave you some excellent points to work on for leg strength. I would also advise doing some warm up/stretch daily as far as the flexibility goes in the form of front and overhead squats I have all the kids in the neighborhood that like to come over and tinker around with the Olifts do these in this manner. Light stretching, then grab the cage,go into a squat, then some air squats with arms up and in front, or goblet squats (holding a light DB just under the chin) then take an empty or light bar and do seeral sets of both front and overhead squats, trying to get as low as you can without discomfort. It's a great lower body warmup, and there isn't much loading to speak of, so it can be done daily, or even multiple times daily.
Tim

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:43 am

Two more things. If the bar is too high on your neck and/or your stance is too narrow this might cause a tendancy to bow forward coming out of a deep squat. Also, your weight may shift forward onto the balls of your feet. I used to have this problem until I started doing low-bar squats. Now I have no problem keeping my torso vertical and my heels down.


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