Frustration with Squats

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Matt Z
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Frustration with Squats

Post by Matt Z » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:43 pm

Squats have always been a difficult exercise for me. I have good form and depth, I'm flexible, and I can squat a fair amount of weight, but for some reason this exercise always feels somewhat akward and uncomfortable, even on my lightest warmup sets. Likewise, with squats I have to concentrate very hard on maintaining proper form, while every other exercise I do is second nature.

With front squats, on the other hand, the actual squatting gets much easier, but keeping the bar in place becomes a real challange, and I find that the amount of weight I can lift is limited more by shoulder strength than it is by leg strength.

Still, I'm reluctant to give up squatting completely, since I fear that my leg development and overall strength will suffer for it.

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Post by hoosegow » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:24 pm

Squats are hard, uncomfortable and overall suck. You do them and do them correctly because you are better than 95% of the other people in your gym who don't.

Just my opinion, but doing front squats is superior to regular squats for pure athletic performance.

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Post by Ironman » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:33 pm

I actually like them. I have to use a pad on the bar because anything much over 100 pounds seems to hurt. Other then that, unless I am doing a superset type workout, squats is all I do for quad focused lower body.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:03 am

The Manta Ray solves the problem of the bar digging into my neck, but my groin muscles often feel tight when I perform regular back squats, which is strange, because I don't think it's a flexibility issue. Also, I have to concentrate hard on keeping my heels down to avoid tipping forward (this isn't a problem with front squats).

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Post by George G » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:21 am

Matt Z wrote:The Manta Ray solves the problem of the bar digging into my neck, but my groin muscles often feel tight when I perform regular back squats, which is strange, because I don't think it's a flexibility issue. Also, I have to concentrate hard on keeping my heels down to avoid tipping forward (this isn't a problem with front squats).
Matt,

Consider REDUCING weight for the next 4 weeks by 10% and practicing perfect form. Squats more than most other exercises demand perfect form on every rep. I do find it necessary do this every now and then.

You will probably have the same training effect from doing less weight with better form. This will also give you the opportunity to focus on single leg work more, which most of us under-appreciate.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:18 am

You'de think being short, with a stong back and legs, that squatting would come naturally to me, but it doesn't. This may be because I have relatively long legs for my height (although strangely my arms are pretty short).
Last edited by Matt Z on Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:27 am

I'd like to try low-bar squats (without the Manta Ray), but I can't seem to get the bar position right. Even with an empty bar it's very uncomfortable for my wrists, and I feel more like I'm holding the bar up with my arms than resting it across my shoulders. Also, it places my shoulders in a really vulnerable position, and I'm afraid that if I use any weight this way, the bar will slip and dislocate both my arms.

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Post by Juggers » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:52 am

I've been squatting a lot lately, and also use a box. For some reason my lower back is getting more of a workout...my form seems to be pretty good. I don't know if I am leaning forword too much causing the weight to "crush" me and when I come up I'm actually doing a mini back hyperextention...whatever the case its annoying feel ya with the squatting thing.

Maybe try box squatting for a while if you havent...or really wide stance squatting.

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Post by George G » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:39 pm

Another thing I forgot to mention - try lifting straps for front squats.

Whatever you do, please keep squatting :)

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:50 pm

Lifting straps? I've been doing front squats cross-arm style. I've tried doing them weightlifting style, but my arms just won't bend that way.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:07 pm

Likewise when I do Military Presses and Push Presses the barbell doesn't ever touch my chest as you see here, but rather hovers a few inches in front of my collarbones.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Del ... Press.html

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:12 pm

Now that I think of it, this may explain why I've never been able to do cleans properly. My forarms press against my biceps and prevent the bar from touching my chest.

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Post by Ironman » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:57 pm

Flexibility is an issue with them. For example, I can do the standard parallel squat, but I can't do full squats at all.

I tried to get my uncle doing squats, but he had a flexibility problem with them, in adition to a weak medialis.

It seems like it is kind of where the glute connects to the hamstring that needs to be stretched out. Maybe if you work on stretching you'll be able to do them.

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Post by George G » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:03 pm

Matt Z wrote:Lifting straps? I've been doing front squats cross-arm style. I've tried doing them weightlifting style, but my arms just won't bend that way.
http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do? ... 5-training

Scroll down for the second image.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:22 am

Oh! I understand what you mean now. That's awesome. I'm going to try that on Friday.

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