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  • #61
    I would like to see if going beyond parallel will help my pain. I stopped by a gym and a trainer there was more than happy to watch me squat (said he has not had many girls ask that before). My form is perfect, although I only go to parallel without discomfort. He also said I will still benefit greatly without going under the knees and a parallel squat is better than no squat.

    What do y'all think?

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    • #62
      Originally posted by umm7 View Post
      I would like to see if going beyond parallel will help my pain. I stopped by a gym and a trainer there was more than happy to watch me squat (said he has not had many girls ask that before). My form is perfect, although I only go to parallel without discomfort. He also said I will still benefit greatly without going under the knees and a parallel squat is better than no squat.

      What do y'all think?
      There can be a lot of reasons why your knees hurt during a squat.

      First question is, are your knees in line with your toes throughout the entire movement? Your toes should be rotated outward about 30 degrees, and you need to actively keep your knees out to the sides to track the angle of your toes. Does this happen? It's quite common for people to either hold their toes too straight, or for them to allow their knees to cave towards the middle, especially with heavier weight.

      The other question is, do your knees keep traveling forward as your approach parallel, and once you go below? Your knees should assume their final position in the first 1/3-1/2 of the descent, and should stay there.

      Have you read Starting Strength by Rippetoe? I would highly advice you do that, especially since you have knee pain.

      Also, be careful with the trainers out there, the majority are fools. I've seen countless trainers at typical commercial gyms give just terrible advice. Educate yourself first, and then get a qualified (you'll be able to discern what this entails better once you have some knowledge on form under your belt) coach if you need to.

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      • #63
        I have read it, I own it :-) I have also watched his videos. I was certain I was doing it right based on what I have read and watched. I also watched myself in a video, looked good. I went to that gym just for a second opinion as said I should get.

        I have had knee pain for a few years now. I remember the day it started, I was in a low squat following "boot camp" billy blanks (or whatever). Please don't tease too much, I'm sure there are reasons why that wasn't so bright...

        My father, brothers & uncles all said its genetics. Hard to know without going to a Dr and even then it's a toss up. My youngest brother & uncle had surgery on their knees. The military took responsibility for my brothers and the USPS retired my uncle and took responsibility for his.

        No offense to Drs, I just haven't had the best experience.

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        • #64
          When I had knee pain from squats it wasn't actually knee pain. It was deferred pain from the IT Band, a long muscle that goes from the knee all the way up thigh. To fix it, I just started foam rolling it. It hurts like HELL when I do it, but now my knee pain isn't so much and I feel much more comfortable with doing squats knowing it's not affecting my knees.

          Here's a link on it: IT Band Pain - Iliotibial Band Syndrome
          Primal since September, 2011
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          • #65
            Originally posted by umm7 View Post
            I have read it, I own it :-) I have also watched his videos. I was certain I was doing it right based on what I have read and watched. I also watched myself in a video, looked good. I went to that gym just for a second opinion as said I should get.

            I have had knee pain for a few years now. I remember the day it started, I was in a low squat following "boot camp" billy blanks (or whatever). Please don't tease too much, I'm sure there are reasons why that wasn't so bright...

            My father, brothers & uncles all said its genetics. Hard to know without going to a Dr and even then it's a toss up. My youngest brother & uncle had surgery on their knees. The military took responsibility for my brothers and the USPS retired my uncle and took responsibility for his.

            No offense to Drs, I just haven't had the best experience.
            You should post a form check on the Starting Strength coach forums.

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            • #66
              I was trying to avoid that, why I went to a local gym. Maybe I will anyway

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              • #67
                Parallel is perfect . Make sure ur knees go out on the way up don't let them tuck in !!


                London

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Ryancarter1986 View Post
                  Parallel is perfect .
                  Do you know what the reason is for squatting below parallel (defined by the hip joint being parallel to the top of the patella)?

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by quikky View Post
                    Do you know what the reason is for squatting below parallel (defined by the hip joint being parallel to the top of the patella)?
                    No but have been taught going parallel is good & acceptable.
                    I do when warming up go below parallel arse to ground but as soon as it goes super heavy parallel is the marker.

                    But please explain


                    London

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Ryancarter1986 View Post
                      No but have been taught going parallel is good & acceptable.
                      I do when warming up go below parallel arse to ground but as soon as it goes super heavy parallel is the marker.

                      But please explain


                      London
                      Just to reiterate what I said earlier, the definition of below parallel here is the hip joint being under the top of the patella. This is quite different than an ass-to-grass squat, which is what you've described. Also, this is not what many people consider parallel, which is the underside of your thigh being parallel with the ground.

                      As to the reason why below parallel should be done vs just parallel, this is the position that produces a stretch reflex in the posterior chain, namely the glutes, hamstrings, and adductors. Depths higher than this, and the typical "parallel" is several inches higher, are a lot more quad dominant. This is undesirable not only because the posterior chain gets very underutilized, but also because this produces less stable knees, since the anterior forces (quads) are not balanced with the posterior forces on the joint.

                      This is more heavily apparent in a low bar squat vs a high bar squat, the latter producing less hamstring involvement due to a more vertical back angle.

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                      • #71
                        I started over with just the bar (45 lbs) and am now going below parallel. My knee pain is almost completely gone!! Hopefully it will stay that way, I really do love squatting. I do have to say that going below parallel is much much harder work :-)

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by quikky View Post
                          Because every snowflake is precious and unique. You know the type, every discussion involves them saying something like:

                          "Everyone is different, what works for someone, might not work for you!"

                          ... Except it does. Every person in existence who is physically capable of working with barbells, will get stronger the most efficiently with barbells. Millions of people, all over the world, for decades, have used barbells to build a lot of strength. ... But not you. You're different. You're unique. You will just do some push-ups, and curl some dumbbells, and you'll be strong, because barbells are not for you, not for your gentle snowflake body. It's too unique...
                          I just wet myself.

                          This absolutely should be a sticky. Hall of fame post if I ever read one.

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                          • #73
                            Contrary to popular belief, doing squats with full range of motion actually strengthens your knees. this might help you: how to squat properly
                            I am not a bodybuilding/fat loss/strength training "guru" BUT I achieved a lean state with ease after learning the correct way to train and eat and I want to HELP YOU achieve the same.

                            Getting fit is also about managing your mindset:
                            http://getfitmindset.com

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                            • #74
                              Hell yeah performing a full squat is harder than a half squat. And I'm not surprised your knee is feeling better. Here's a little Rip wisdom for your reading pleasure.

                              Originally posted by Mark Rippetoe
                              The Squat: Easier Doesn't Work
                              By Mark Rippetoe

                              Squatting high is easier, but easier doesn't work.

                              You actually know this already, even if you keep the secret buried down below your brain stem. Easier has never worked, and you figured this out in about the fifth grade, provided you weren't in some remedial program mandated by your state.

                              When you memorized all your multiplication tables, arithmetic was a lot easier, wasn't it? When you diagrammed all your sentences, the next semester's writing assignments were easier, right? When you actually did all your homework, the test was easier. That type of easier does work.

                              Squats below parallel are your homework. The result of doing them is that you get stronger on all the other exercises, even the pressing movements, because squats make your whole body stronger – if you do them correctly.

                              I know it's harder that way, and one of the ways you know it's wrong to do them high is that everybody else does them high. When was the last time that thing everybody else was doing turned out to be the right thing to do?

                              Deep squats done with a weight that's a little heavier each time you train affect your body in a way that no other exercise can. And believe me when I say that "other methods" have been tried. They just don't work. And it's not that they don't work as well, they don't work at all.

                              You can quarter-squat or half-squat as much weight as you can load on the bar and growth will not occur at the same rate it does when you finally stop being a pussy and get below parallel with every rep, with a constantly increasing load on your back.

                              And I'm not sure why squats do that.

                              We know that the accumulating effects of the increasing load cause the accumulation of adaptations to those heavier loads. We speculate that loading the whole body causes a systemic hormonal response, and that deadlifts don't because of the shorter range of motion and the lack of a stretch reflex at the hardest mechanical position.

                              But the truth is we don't know exactly why it's the squat and only the squat that produces this effect, and we're not likely to find out anytime soon because the exercise "science" community thinks you can do a squat study with a Smith machine. Really. Look it up.

                              I – however benighted I may be concerning peer-review, academic rigor, and double-blinding – know what works and what doesn't. The way I know that deep squats work this way and that nothing else does is because I've been doing this for 35 years.

                              I'm actually not a dull person, and I've seen firsthand the differences in attempting to gain weight and muscle with and without deep squats
                              The Champagne of Beards

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                              • #75
                                I cannot keep good form for ever squat, my pc is weak. Any ideas? Should I still increase the weight each workout it wait?

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