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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:54 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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thanks for all the responses guys, particularly the two Kennys :)

So, my plan of action is going to be:

-start her doing 3 sets or so of bodyweight squats 4" or so from a wall with hands behind her head. That should teach her the movement pattern.
-once she's got the hang of the hips back/knees out thing I'll get her goblet squatting to a high box
-I'll lower the box as far as she can comfortably go
-once she's got the hang of that I'll move her to front squats (she's tall with long limbs so I'm not sure if I'll ever get her back squatting...)

it's probably worth mentioning that since I had her try to squat last she's really strengthened up her abs and legs, so perhaps the issues have fixed themselves.

I have one question though: when using the box should I have her pause on the box or just use it to gauge depth?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:58 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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oh and if she doesn't seem to be getting the movement pattern down I'll look to things like ankle mobilisations etc but hopefully it won't come to that (I hate that stuff!)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:45 am 
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I'm not a huge fan of wall squats personally, I find a lot of people will internally rotate their knees to avoid hitting the wall, defeating the purpose of learning a proper movement pattern, but your mileage may vary. That said, my process generally goes exactly like what you've described afterwards: goblet, box, front, (maybe) back. If she's having difficulty with the hip hinge aspect, put two fingers in the crease and tell her to squeeze your fingers between her hip and her thigh, and provide a little feedback -- only if she's unloaded! -- to help guide the movement. According to Motor Learning* it takes about 300-500 reps to properly learn a motor pattern and 3 000-5 000 to correct a jacked up pattern, so if you can get her to make one major correction per session you should be able to get her on the right path pretty quickly.

--------
*anyone read this? Human Kinetics sells it and I'm thinking about picking it up.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:17 am 
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My juvenile mind thinks what you just posted was borderline dirty,

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:31 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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the "two fingers in the crease" comment?

Shame on you hoose!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Only borderline? I must be slipping in my old age...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:21 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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to get back on topic, I tried to get her to do a wall squat last night. Total failure. I'll try to get her squatting down to a box next time we're in the gym and if that doesn't work I'm scunnered...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:46 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Keep it simple.

Just add a couple of movements to the warm up that will help develop the squat. Even if it's not perfect, it'll give you a chance to coach it and her a chance to practice before every work out, without making a big deal out of it (it can be frustrating putting too much focus on something you just can't grasp when all you really want to do is "tone up").

Give squatting to the step a chance and see how it goes. Most likely, she'll break at the knees, heels will lift, and weight will shift way forward possibly with some wobbling. This is where you get to test your coaching cues. Now, if she's breaking at the knees AND going up on the toes, don't say, "break at the hips and stay on your heels". Just say, "move the hips back first". Forget the feet, you'll probably find the route of her technique break down is lack of hip hinge. Fix the hips and the feet will follow. I get the hips doing what I want them to do, then I cue the feet/knees (grip the floor and rip it apart).

Even if she starts to move the hips back first, it may look like an awkward good morning with the knees caving in. And you know what, that's progress. Leave it there after 10-15 reps and get on with training. She'll be better next time. Most importantly, she probably won't be frustrated.

I used to be the worlds worst for over-coaching. Wanting everything perfect the first time. I could easily spend 2 hours on one big lift with one person (and I have done). Using the warm up as a "feeder" to the training sessions took a lot of frustration away from me.

Anyway, give that a shot. If she's REALLY bad for hip hinging, there's still options. I'll generally use a DB Sumo Deadlift (I'll explain this if you need it) and also tend to use a "dowel hip hinge" as a warm up movement, too - very difficult to do this wrong.

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:04 am 
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it was a wobbly mess, but I'll try her tonight with a broom on her back to try to get the hips going. I'll try and get her to keep her weight on her heels too. It's just such a clusterf*** all round that I panic and abort the attempt. I just don't have the coaching skills!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:54 am 
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If you're getting frustrated, just work on hip hinging and forget squatting just now.

Things like the dowel hip hinge. Or have her stand 1-foot from a wall (honestly, ANYONE can do this to some extent), then tell her to touch the wall with her a$$. Move further away from the wall as she gets better. Tell her she should feel her hamstrings stretch as she reaches back. All these little improvements don't need to happen the first time she does it. Just touching the wall is step one. Feeling the hamstrings is step 2. When this is no probs, mess around with her upper body posture (chest up), even have her hold a stick or Bar as if she's doing an RDL. This might take 3 or 4 different attempts.

When this clicks then go back to squatting - she'll know what "hips back" means and that's half the battle...

It can be a lot more frustrating for the person learning it. I always explain that it's normal for this to feel very unnatural but, it's like riding a bike. One day it'll just click, feel natural, and they won't need to think about it.

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:09 am 
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yeah it wasn't so much that I was getting frustrated, more just that I didn't want her to get frustrated. She's really enjoying getting stronger and the changes she's seeing in her body, so I don't want it to stop being fun for her. Her motivation to train is awesome and I don't want to jeopardise that.

I'll try the dowel thing and the wall touching thing. I was thinking about getting her doing romanian deadlifts soon (I think they'll be easier to coach than squats although I could be wrong) so teaching the hips back thing might make that a bit easier.

the funny thing is, it's not like she's weak. She can do lunges and step ups with over two thirds of her bodyweight, so it must just be a movement issue...


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:21 am 
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just to update this:

KPj did it, he got her squatting. At first she couldn't get anywhere near it, but after a bit of coaching he had her goblet squatting to a box like it was no thang. The boy is the real deal.

KPj, do you want her to work on getting stronger or deeper? (or both?)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:43 am 
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The step took her to just below parallel so I would just get reps for a couple of sessions to get comfortable with that ROM - comfortable as in, she can do it without really thinking about it.

The 16KG DB was good because it was enough to pull her very slightly out of technique but she was still able to fight it and correct it. This will most likely happen with a slightly heavier weight next time. However I would still keep reps high because she is building form just now and "reps build form"...

Basically, when she doesn't really need to think about "hips back" and "knees out" and it comes naturally, squatting back on the heels, then I would take the step away and get 2-3 sessions with no step, at least. She'll probably get a little deeper at this point, too.

When she can free squat as easy as riding a bike then you can start going to lower rep ranges with more weight or even going to other variations (front or back). Box squats are good and, squatting "to a box" are good, too, to gauge depth. However right now the box is kind of like a crutch, or aid, to help with technique so you want to progress to good technique with no box before anything else. Don't rush it though - the box/step is all psychological. One day you'll be able to remove it mid-set and she'll feel like it's still there.

Also bare in mind getting stronger is relative. I guess everyone has their own definition. Mine is very broad - pretty much just means "getting better". So if someone can't squat then they develop the ability to squat, they've got stronger. Then we kind of go back to some of the 5-3-1 discussions - improving higher rep ranges is still "getting stronger". At this stage higher reps are good because higher reps = more practice per set. She will probably get stronger every session, one way or another, for several weeks just now.

Also, keep squat-to-stand in the warm up as these will really help the cause, too.

I've probably over explained. Can't help it myself!

KPj

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:53 pm 
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cheers KPj! Will put that into action. Instead of 5 sets of lunges she's going to do 3 sets of lunges then 3 sets of squats to a bench


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:36 am 
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update:

i've now got her training on an A,B schedule, with her A workout being squats and B being lunges. On squat day she is working up to a heavy 5, whereas her lunges are kept high rep.

She's started using the bar for front squats now which is cool. It's a bit too heavy for her to jump straight in with so she's doing goblet squats to work up to it, then she jumps on the bar and the fun starts.

Seems to be going well, she's really got the hang of the hips back/knees out thing so it's just a matter of getting her stronger now.


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