Squats and Deads, What's missing?

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Blue Running Man
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Squats and Deads, What's missing?

Post by Blue Running Man » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:05 pm

No question, Squats and Deads are a great exercise.

But are they truly complete?

I feel that there are 2 essential lower body movements not represented well in either the squat of the deadlift. It seems to me that both these great exercises are more for hip and knee extension. Duh,?

- Knee Flexion, and Hip Flexion. Sure your knees and hips flex during both movements, but the effort of stress is on the extension.

-What are the best exercises to increase strength in knee and hip flexion, that can be supplemented along with Deads and Squats?

-Discuss


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Post by stuward » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:30 pm

I had a discussion once on another forum with Peter Rouse who wrote this article: http://www.optimumperformance.com.sg/ar ... ements.htm

He uses 8 movements:
Upper Body

1. Horizontal Push
2. Horizontal Pull
3. Vertical Push
4. Vertical Pull

Lower Body

Quad Dominant
Hip Dominant
Knee Dominant Flexion
Knee Dominant Extension

I questioned him on the inclusion of the last 2 and basically said for beginners, squats and deadlifts don't work well enough. I think it's just a carry over of the standard machine circuit workout.

In a nutshell, knee flexion is done with the leg curl machine and knee extension is done on the leg extension machine. There are no closed chain free weight exercises that do those movements (except for glute/ham raises) and I can't see where you need to do them in isolation in real life. He includes Split Squats and Lunges as examples of knee extension but I include them with Quad dominant. I'm not sure why the distinction.

Stu
Last edited by stuward on Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Blue Running Man » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:07 pm

I'm not really sure what you mean when you say...."said for beginners, squats and deadlifts don't work well enough."

I don't agree with Peter's 8 movements;

I feel these are the movements that should be addressed when designing a well balanced lower body workout.

Lower Body:
-Hip Flexion
-Hip Extension

-Knee extension
-Knee Flexion

-Hip Abduciton
-Hip Adduction

-Ankle Flexion (dorsi flexion)
-Ankle Extension (plantar flexion)

There are plenty of exercises that will work hip/knee flexion. Like you say, they aren't free weight type exercises.

-Why would you not want to train hip flexion, or knee flexion in the real world?
-Doesn't a sprinter need to have strong hip flexors to allow for a powerful knee drive?
- knee flexion is also important in sprinting as it aids in an explosive push off?

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Post by stuward » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:22 pm

Blue Running Man wrote:I'm not really sure what you mean when you say...."said for beginners, squats and deadlifts don't work well enough."
These were Peter's words, not mine. Edit: You can read exactly what he said here: http://forums.jpfitness.com/602555-post38.html
In context: http://forums.jpfitness.com/training-di ... ine-2.html
I don't agree with Peter's 8 movements;
I don't either.
I feel these are the movements that should be addressed when designing a well balanced lower body workout.

Lower Body:
-Hip Flexion
-Hip Extension

-Knee extension
-Knee Flexion

-Hip Abduciton
-Hip Adduction

-Ankle Flexion (dorsi flexion)
-Ankle Extension (plantar flexion)
All of these are exercised with deadlifts and squats. Unless you have specific weaknesses you don't have to do specific exercises for each.
There are plenty of exercises that will work hip/knee flexion. Like you say, they aren't free weight type exercises.
agreed.
-Why would you not want to train hip flexion, or knee flexion in the real world?
-Doesn't a sprinter need to have strong hip flexors to allow for a powerful knee drive?
- knee flexion is also important in sprinting as it aids in an explosive push off?
I missed your reference to "hip flexion" earlier. I was just thinking about knee movements. Training abs is sufficient. Since abs are most used for stability, they get plenty of stimulus with squats and deadlifts.

The main muscles used in knee flexion are the hamstrings, which are also worked in hip dominant movements. Although there is some benefit to GHRs and leg curls, it's minor compared to doing hip dominant movements.

It's not so much that these movements are useless, they are just not in the same league as the other basic movements.

The New Rules of Lifting includes 7 core movements:
Push, Pull, Squat, Lunge, deadlift (hip extention), hip flexion and twist.

[/quote]
Last edited by stuward on Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:23 pm

I have a vague memory of seeing a cable exercise for hip/knee flexion, but I can't find it now. As I recall, you secure a low cable to your ankle, sit (maybe reclined back at 45 deg) facing the cable and pull with your leg. Sort of an ankle "row".


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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:26 pm

Jungledoc wrote:I have a vague memory of seeing a cable exercise for hip/knee flexion, but I can't find it now. As I recall, you secure a low cable to your ankle, sit (maybe reclined back at 45 deg) facing the cable and pull with your leg. Sort of an ankle "row".
Is it the Cable Lying Leg-Hip Raise? If you do it seated, you limit the amount of hip flexion.

Hip flexion is the dominant articulation exercised in this movement - the knee flexion is more incidental.

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Post by Blue Running Man » Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:01 pm

Stu, care to elaborate more on this......The New Rules of Lifting includes 7 core movements:
Push, Pull, Squat, Lunge, deadlift (hip extention), hip flexion and twist.

Particularly the Hip flexion and twist.


The cable exercise is a great example of hip flexion. This exercise would definitely be superior to squats in targeting the hip flexors. I do see knee flexion in this exercise, but I do not see knee flexion under any load. If anything the amount of knee flexion is controlled by the quads, not the hams. Therefore this exercise would not be effective at all in targeting the hams.

When the goal is to increase strength/power/mass etc. In order for the muscles to be trained correctly, doesn't this mean their needs to be a heavy load on said muscle? I see no load, for knee flexion, or hip flexion in a squat. Sure those muscle groups will be used in balance, and stability. (synergist?)

You simply can't have a "working" load working in both directions, flexion and extension. With free weights, it's one or the other. Sure, squats work the quads, and the hams, but they are the targeting the muscles responsible for hip extension within the hamstring group, and the muscles responsible for knee extension within the quadriceps group, no?

While the muscles responsible for hip flexion, and knee flexion, help to stabilize and balance the exercise.
Last edited by Blue Running Man on Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by stuward » Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:15 pm

Blue Running Man wrote:Stu, care to elaborate more on this......The New Rules of Lifting includes 7 core movements:
Push, Pull, Squat, Lunge, deadlift (hip extention), hip flexion and twist.

Particularly the Hip flexion and twist.
...
I don't have the book so I'm going by memory but hip flexion is ab training while twist is oblique training. I can't remeber the actual exercises he recommended. It was stuff like ab crunches and Russian twists.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:05 pm

Hip flexion is exercised primarily by isolation exercises (using bodyweight loads for the most part), while knee flexion is exercised primarily by variations of the leg curl, which is also an isolation exercise. Weakness and tightness in the hip flexors and knee flexors are responsible for many bodily problems, particularly low back pain. But training these muscle groups for many is just an afterthought.

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Post by Blue Running Man » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:07 am

I am familiar with anterior pelvic tilt, resulting from tight hip flexors.

What are the risks of having weak/tight knee flexors?

What are the signs or symptoms of weak/tight knee flexors?

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Post by KPj » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:05 am

I'm not 100% clear on what's been asked, but seems interesting so thought I would pitch in,

Weak hipflexors is most commonly the Psoas, well, the Psoas and the iliacus, but it's easiest to think of those 2 muslces as one. The Psoas is the only hip flexor that works when the knee is above 90degrees. Sprinting is a good exercise for the Psoas for that reason. For the same reason, jogging only enforces the weakness of the Psoas. The Psoas originates on all of the lumbar spine, and weakness or dysfunction in the psoas can results in lumber flexion as compensation.

One of the advantage sof squating below parallel is activation/strenghtening of the psoas.

The psoas, for most, is about the only hip flexor that warrants any direct work, the other hip flexors are commonly overactive and/or short (note that I said "for most").

With weak or tight knee flexors, basically you're at risk of back pain and / or knee pain. The signs/symptoms would be recurring hamstring strains, poor glute function, back pain. Lot's of things, depends on a lot of factors, especially on whether the knee flexors are tight or weak. The knee flexors commonly feel tight, but it's thought to be a neural tightness when in reality, they are lengthened and weak (anterior tilt). The neural tightness is thought to be because you're primary knee flexors also have to extend the hips in the absence of decent glutes. Also due to the tilted position of the hips, the knee flexors can be in a constantly stretched position, therefore, they 'feel' tight.

Isolating knee flexion is, with respect to anyone who thinks otherwise, a concept that makes no sense. Purely because of the control the HIPS have over the knees. You have hip flexors which cross the hip and the knee joint, and you also have hip extensors - the glutes - which attach to the femur and the shin (via the ITband). When you think of the direct control the glutes have over the knee, then it can't possibly make sense to attempt to take the glutes out of knee flexion i.e. leg curls. This doesn't include rehab situations.

You can isolate knee flexion whilst in hip extension, such as plate drags, stability ball leg gurls, or GHR's (if you do them like that - many don't). That would make sense since the glute muscles are activated, and therefore are stabilising the knee.

In terms of adduction and abduction, I also happen to agree that squats and DL's don't cover everything. That's one reason i'm a big fan of single leg work.

KPj

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Post by stuward » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:30 am

In terms of adduction and abduction, I also happen to agree that squats and DL's don't cover everything. That's one reason i'm a big fan of single leg work.
I think it comes down to "bang for the buck". Squats and deadlifts work more muscles and will work all the movements. It's certainly worthwhile to include single leg work on a regular basis. I consider these to be squat and deadlift variations. I just don't think it's worthwhile to spend time on 8 different movements when 2 exercises will do the the job. If you have time for a second workout in the day, yes, go for it.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:56 am

I don't have the book so I'm going by memory but hip flexion is ab training
Good point. In performing a sit up, the fist 1/3 of the movement is performed by the abdominals. That is why "crunches" are recommended if you want to focus on your abdominals.

The last 2/3 of a sit up are primarily performed by the hip flexors. The addominals perform a "static hold," keeping your upper torso rigid.

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Post by KPj » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:08 am

stuward wrote: I think it comes down to "bang for the buck". Squats and deadlifts work more muscles and will work all the movements. It's certainly worthwhile to include single leg work on a regular basis. I consider these to be squat and deadlift variations. I just don't think it's worthwhile to spend time on 8 different movements when 2 exercises will do the the job. If you have time for a second workout in the day, yes, go for it.
I agree. Squats and DL's deffinitly cover the bulk of it. I would also consider single leg stuff to be squat and DL variations in principle anyway. I do think you 'need' single leg stuff as well - but that's just my personal opinion. A little self bias because I like to think that one day, we'll all be in balance.

My own workouts normally only have 4-6 exercises in them, and atleast one single leg exercise - never looks like much on paper, but you're spent by the end of the first exercise.

I think that if you can complete 8 movements in one work out efficiently, you're not working hard enough. Unless it's some kind of circuit training type work out. The knee flexion/extension thing was strange to me as well. Where do you stop? What about neck extension / flexion? Don't forget the fingers, they can flex and extend. It was bizare that the guy in the JP thread said it was for 'knee stabilisation'... But hey, each to their own.

BTW - I also agree in the way you categorised movements i.e. Quad dominant. This is the way I look at it. You can alter most single leg movements to be hip dominant (larger stride, weight on heels instead of 'mid-foot'). Just depends on the lifter and what they're trying to achieve I guess.

KPj

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:15 am

stuward wrote:
In terms of adduction and abduction, I also happen to agree that squats and DL's don't cover everything. That's one reason i'm a big fan of single leg work.

I think it comes down to "bang for the buck". Squats and deadlifts work more muscles and will work all the movements.


Stu's right, squat and deadlifts are the key.
It's certainly worthwhile to include single leg work on a regular basis. I consider these to be squat and deadlift variations.
Bingo. "Step Ups" (one leg squats) and other variations are more effective.
I just don't think it's worthwhile to spend time on 8 different movements when 2 exercises will do the the job.
It's NOT worthwhile to "spend time on 8 different movements when 3 exercises will do the job."
If you have time for a second workout in the day, yes, go for it.
Exactly!

Kenny Croxdale


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