squat question

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Khronos8
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Re: squat question

Post by Khronos8 » Wed May 09, 2012 10:00 am

Actually... love the way this thread has gone! :grin:

I really liked the discussion of risk assessment that turned into screening (which I then followed by finding one of Gray Cooks Functional Movement Self Screening tests) which has turned to single leg work. I find it interesting and educational that others are going through the same process I have been. I started working on single leg stuff about a year ago, found that I really needed to take my shoes off to make it work (but that doing that made it so much easier to keep my balance). Once I switched to minimal sole shoes (New Balance Minimus) I no longer have to take my shoes off either (which keeps the gym staff from bitching at me).

I typically do Bulgarian Split squats for my single leg knee dominant and Single leg Romanian Dead lift for my single leg hip hinge. I like DBs for both, easier to maintain balance, also like to load unilaterally (just hold one DB) but have gone to two to do higher weights. Also played around with BB on both, but that's a whole new level of balance that I need to do more work on before I'm really comfortable with.

Usually hold the DB in the same side as the trailing leg to force more core engagement to stabilize.

Once I get done with my 40 day workout I'll program in more single leg work to complement the front squats I've been doing. Also... from the Gray Cook assessment... I need to work on stride flexability and serious spine flexability issues (rotation for the most part). Not sure where to start there, but you know when I get to developing a program for it this is probably the first place I'll come for ideas.

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Dub
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Re: squat question

Post by Dub » Wed May 09, 2012 11:17 am

Just for the sake of single leg -topic issued here, what is people's opinion on single leg/pistol squats?
Other than being a great exercise for quads and hips, it's also very "functional" and provides great stability and power out of the hole. But, There are something that bugs people, I think I first read this from Nick Tuminello, and have also been wondering it myself.

Nowadays people are very conserned about lower back stability and disorders. Lumbar flexion is a no-no. No sit-ups, generally everything that rounds the lower back is negative. This also HAPPENS on pistol squats. For every video and pick you look, there is a tucked butt and flexed lumbar spine in all of them. So is this a bad thing? especially when loading the pistol with either barbell or a pair of DB's? Would split squats or a similar variation just be a better choise for the spine?
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Re: squat question

Post by Ironman » Wed May 09, 2012 12:25 pm

Only barbell loading would be bad. This is because of the load going on the flexed spine. With a different center of gravity, it wouldn't be so bad. I would think going heavy enough on a pistol to cause a problem with dumbbell loading would be nearly impossible. It forces the dumbbells to be at your side, which allows for more weight without putting so much pressure on the spine as out in front would. I'd be pretty impressed to see someone do a pistol while holding just half their body weight in dumbbells.

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Re: squat question

Post by Jungledoc » Wed May 09, 2012 4:05 pm

KPj--how close to the floor do you have the trailing knee? Touch? 2-3"?
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Re: squat question

Post by KPj » Thu May 10, 2012 3:38 am

Jungledoc wrote:KPj--how close to the floor do you have the trailing knee? Touch? 2-3"?
I go for just above the floor, about an inch, which means for the most part there's a light touch. I just like to avoid the knee crashing down.

When teaching it from the bottom up I put a matt down for cushioning and sit the knee on that.


RE Pistols, these are a very advanced single leg variation. It's quite interesting they're brought up because I seen a great write up on them and another great video of a coach I really like doing them.

The lumbar flexion has always bothered me although, I doubt it's as much of a concern when it's just bodyweight. For me I learned them just to be able to do them - kind of like a one-arm push up, I just wanted to be able to do one. I've loaded them up in a few phases of training but not doing the classic pistol. I stand up on steps to eliminate the need to flex the other hip and go as far as a neutral spine will allow.

There's a great demonstration (far better than I would be able to demonstrate! Or anyone i've seen for that matter) of this by Nia Shanks here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0COj_FK3myw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And a great write up of them here by Charlie Weingroff - http://charlieweingroff.com/2012/03/to- ... to-pistol/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: squat question

Post by josh60 » Thu May 10, 2012 3:59 am

KPj wrote:There's a great demonstrationץ...KPj
Ah! Using a step seems to be a great idea, I've never seen it done that way. Who knows,, maybe I will be able to do one pistol after all! Just wait till my knee gets better (all them talks about squats got me injure my knee on a day I didn't do any leg work at all :-)) and give it a try. My previous attempts were a total failure, but maybe there is still some hope even for an old goat like me.

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Re: squat question

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 10, 2012 7:24 am

KPj wrote:I stand up on steps to eliminate the need to flex the other hip and go as far as a neutral spine will allow.
Yeah, but isn't keeping the hip flexed and the knee extended on the inactive leg a big part of the challenge?
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Re: squat question

Post by stuward » Thu May 10, 2012 7:26 am

If your hip mobility is limited, then not extending the free leg and/or adding a counterbalance does make it an easier exercise.
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Re: squat question

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 10, 2012 7:41 am

I'm not thinking I'll be doing it in this lifetime! Either way.
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Re: squat question

Post by KPj » Thu May 10, 2012 8:32 am

Jungledoc wrote:
KPj wrote:I stand up on steps to eliminate the need to flex the other hip and go as far as a neutral spine will allow.
Yeah, but isn't keeping the hip flexed and the knee extended on the inactive leg a big part of the challenge?
Yes, definitely. It's half the battle.

I used to view the pistol as the ultimate progression in single leg work. I think I got so caught up on the "challenge" aspect of it that I overlooked the "benefit" aspect. I think the biggest benefit is the single leg unsupported stance (meaning the off leg is not planted or hooked anywhere), essentially challenging you in all planes and therefore really calling out your hip and torso stability, and motor control.

The more time goes on the more I develop my training principles and the underlying principle is the "joint by joint approach". So, with everything I do I ask if it complies with "joint by joint". When the lumbar spine flexes, the exercise doesn't comply. It's not black and white and there are exception but that's when I ask, "can I get the benefit (single leg unsupported) elsewhere without the risk (lumbar flexion)". The answer of course is yes, if we modify the movement. This also takes us to single leg deadlifts, which are now my "ultimate" single leg progression. It's single leg unsupported and, you have to flex the down hip, whilst extending the rear hip, whilst keeping a neutral spine. I think a well performed single leg deadlift represents the "ultimate" in balance, stability, and motor control. It's also hip dominant vs knee dominant and, with most people, I don't see much of a need for emphasis on knee/quad dominant movements, since their movement is normally dominated by this in the first place and we really need to get more posterior chain work in.

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Re: squat question

Post by josh60 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:40 am

josh60 wrote:Who knows, maybe I will be able to do one pistol after all.
I did! repeat: I did!

The form leaves a lot to be desired (Soon I'll try to have something on Youtube) but I was able to go all the way down and up even on my weaker leg. I am using dumbbells for balance, and they also make the exercise slightly easier as the center of mass is moving through a shorter distance. My knees are not great admirers of the routine, though, so I doubt I'll keep doing it for a long time, but it's nice to beat the challenge.

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Re: squat question

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:28 pm

phenominal

of course at your age, the only time you should be squatting with one leg, is to pick up your BLANK....

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