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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:18 am 
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One thing I do to practice squatting deep and sitting back is overhead squats with a plastic bar (weight almost nothing), facing a wall. 2" from the wall. That's enough margin of error so I don't scrape my knees if I do it wrong, or bash my nose into the wall before I can catch myself, but it forces me to sit back, not down.

I'd also suggest you try to cue yourself with "chest up!" to keep from getting that slight "good morning" on some of your heavier reps.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:43 am 
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Thanks, Chris and Peter. I'll be squatting light for a long time now, so I'll concentrate on form.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:11 am 
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You and me both. Glad I could help. Actually, I think it says how much I've learned that I can spot form errors in the squat.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:30 am 
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With the height on your box squat, I would say around parallel, but just find what's comfortable, even if your just above parallel for awhile until you get the groove.

You need to decide whether your doing a Box Squat, or whether your just using the box as a guide for height. Using it as a guide is great for teaching strict depth. When you do it this way, just just touch the box then go backup.

With the Box Squat, you completely sit on the box, just briefly, then 'explode' back up. You should be able to sit 'back' more on the box squat. If your doing this, one thing I done at first was some body weight reps, only, when I was sitting on the box, I woul check my shin position. When you sit to a point where your shin position is about perpendicular to the floor, place something on the box. I put a band just at the edge of my glutes, so, when I started doing the exercise, I would aim to touch the band, and this would let me know i'm sitting back enough.

KPj

p.s I think the 'Wall Squats' that peter mentioned are a great way of practicing the 'sitting back' thing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:04 am 
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I just noticed the squat video. I would agree with what's been said already.

It doesn't look like you begin from your hips. Imagine a rope tied around your waist, and someone pulling the rope from behind. This is how you want to start, hips back FIRST, then bend the knees. It may help you if you use a wider stance than that, too - not exclusively, just until you get the siting back thing mastered. You'll probably find you can go heavier straight away if you use a wider stance as the stance you used is quite close. Wider stance is easier flexibility wise as well...

It helps to be able to get your stance set and back slightly arched whilst the bar is still racked, then you get all tight and un rack, take a few small steps back, and squat...

You can help groove the movement just by standing, getting tight, keep your legs straight and chest up, and ONLY move at the hips. Basically a partial rep arched back good morning, but it's good for practicing the 'hinge' effect of the hips... You'll feel your hams being tight so don't push it, it's just to get used to the initial hip movement...

The sitting back thing can be one of the most tedious things to learn...Well, it depends in how weak your glutes and hams are. Mine were awful and learning to sit back seemed like an endless process. It's one of those things where it feels like it's just not getting any easier, then one day everything just 'clicks' and you'll know you've got it.

KPj

p.s I've personally seen peoples squat form get changed dramatically just by wrapping a min band around their knees. The band obviously forces the knees inwards, forcing you to push outwards, which forces glute medius to kick in and give you all round better glute function.... Just another that came to mind...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:02 am 
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Thanks, KPj! That plus the other comments give me quite a bit to work on.

Do you mean that the hips should flex some while the knees stay straight?

I must be "sitting back" sometimes, because at times I actually fall backwards. There must be a real fine line between sitting back enough, and sitting back too much.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:49 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Do you mean that the hips should flex some while the knees stay straight?


Yes. It's difficult to actually see, because when you move at the hips before bending at the knees, it still looks like your bending at the knees.... confusing I know...

Watch your shins in the video, they shoot forward quite a lot as soon as movement begins. When 'breaking at the hips' and sitting back, there will be minimal movement at the shins when you first begin the movement and the movement (shins moving forwards) as a whole won't be as excessive. It is a subtle difference as you said especially in your video because your not that far off... Bear in mind 'minimal' movement doesn't mean 'no movement'. Think of your hips setting up your knees. If you look back at your video, maybe even pause it when your at the top of the movement, and see how much your shins go forward in a very little amount of time - Think of transferring as much of that movement to your hips as possible.

There's a good basic squatting articles by Mike Robertson, where he runs through various types of squats. But have a look at the shins in each picture - the differences are subtle, but important.

http://www.wannabebig.com/article.php?articleid=276

Good box squatting article here (check shin position in last box squat pic)
http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do? ... y_120squat

Extra direct glute and ham work will always speed up progress. Falling backwards is just a classic case of weak glutes / hams, or quad dominance (which ever way you choose to look at it). You need the strength in the posterior chain to be able to hold you up....

KPj


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:31 am 
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KPj wrote:
p.s I think the 'Wall Squats' that peter mentioned are a great way of practicing the 'sitting back' thing.


The best thing about them, I forgot to add, is you found out how deep you can go before you screw up your form. You notice immediately because you either smoosh into the wall (slowly, though) or start to fall backwards. Once you get them right, though, you kind of drop into a perfect squat.

There is also a nice video of Dan John teaching basic squat form, let me find it and post a link, although I may have done so a while back on the main forum:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 1858251744

Potato sack squats and goblet squats. Plus you'll learn to RDL in the most painfully effective manner ever, the "bow and arrow."

Also, I know Boris Bachmann suggested once or twice starting from the bottom. I've done that with wall squats - get into perfect squat position and then try to stand up without smacking into the wall or falling backwards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:08 am 
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You may have posted it before. At least I've seen it before, and bookmarked it. Download Helper won't capture videos off of Google, so I don't have a copy. I'll look at it again soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:40 am 
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I'm making some progress on squat form, I think. Doing box squats today on my up-side-down bucket was helpful. When I came down on the bucket I could really feel where I was on it. The points you guys have been making really made a difference in how far back I was when I came down.

I tweaked by back again today just by walking across the floor. So walking across floors goes on my list of things to stop doing! :lol: Seriously, I've been wondering if the back stuff is just arthritis, and has very little to do with what particular exercise I do. In a slow moment in the next few days, I'll get the an x-ray of my lower back (there are advantages to this job--I can walk into the x-ray room and say "get an L-spine for me" and they do it, 5 minutes max, staff are free), to see if there are any indications.

I really wish we had a ham-glute raise. Maybe we could build one.

This applies more to Sam, but after not being able to work out today, he came home at 10:30 this evening, and asked if I'd go up to the wt. room and spot so he cold do his heavy bench! Of course he wouldn't want to miss heavy bench day. He said he felt really good, and insisted on trying for a max (215). He actually got it higher off his chest than last time, but didn't make it. Then he went ahead and did the planned sets of 3 up to 180 and a single 190. He'll go in tomorrow and do the rest of today's workout, then on Friday he leaves for his week in the village. He'll probably end up working pretty hard there, as he is going to try to act just as he would if he were an 18 year-old kid living there. So he'll have to cut and carry firewood, etc. I think it will be good for him to spend a week away from the wt. room.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:32 am 
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Doc, for the back thing, I'm sure arthritus has something to do with it. Mine almost has some kind of aches associated with it, no matter what I'm doing. It's got to be the other muscles overcompensating, etc. A good bodyweight loosen up with air squats DB swings usually get the thing liveable each morning. As to the glute=ham thing, try reverse hypers. Lie faedown on a table, so that you can let your legs han down. Your belly button should be near tables edge some place. Lft your legs to the horizontal position. This is a good one and helps things out for me quite a bit.
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Thanks, Tim. The back pain got worse last evening after I wrote the post. I ended up taking Tylenol and Advil both, which I will continue today. When my back doesn't hurt, I don't think much about flexibility. When it's hurting, I vow to work more diligently on hip flexor flexibility, but when things improve, I get lax again. I'll get the x-rays today or tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Dov, I live on Ibprofen. I got an abcess requiring root canal at sea, and the med guy put me on 800 mg Ibprofen 2X Day, and penicilin to kill the swelling involved. I currently use 2-3 dosages of that for the pain. I can't really feel it help that much, but I sure feel it when I skip a dose and the pain comes back. I'm thinking of rying the otc naproxen.
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Best way to take any anti-inflammatory med is on a fixed schedule, like ibuprophen 600 mg 3 times or 4 times per day. Don't wait for the pain, just take it at a planned time, roughly spaced through the day. The theoretical max is 3200 mg per day, but they don't label the OTC that way, because most people should be under some degree of medical monitoring if the dose is that high.

Naproxen is great, too. It's what I use when I'm taking one. It has a longer half-life, so the doses can be spread out to every 12 hours or so. Maximum of the naproxen soduim is 1100 mg/day. Again, the OTC is 220, and they say don't take over two in a day without MD's advice.

Whichever you take, you should have some food in your stomach when you take it. Decreases the chances of irritation or even ulceration to the stomach.

I'm now at lunch with an ice pack on my back. This is way worse this time than the other times I've tweaked it. I'm hobbling around like an old man. Oh. Wait. I AM an old man. I hate the idea that a hobby could interfere with my work here, so I will resist all I can missing any work for this, but it sure slows me down.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:43 am 
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How is the back feeling?


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