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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by xx00oo00xx View Post
    Ok, good point about stretching. So you don't think it significantly changes which muscles are targeted and how they are targeted? Ha, I know I sound perfectionistic, but it's just that I seemed to be working the front of my legs more than I would in a normal squat (without plates), like the load was being taken away from my hamstrings and glutes. Any ideas of what I was doing wrong? Lifts too high? Leaning forward too much?

    edit: by "without plates" I meant under my heels. Just to be clear.
    It should feel exactly the same. You should still feel like you are trying to push your heels through the floor.

    The main purpose of lifting the heel is for people with poor ankle dorsiflexion. That way, when you do a full squat with your hamstrings meeting your calves, it doesn't require your heels to elevate off the floor causing instability.

    Without seeing your form in person it's impossible to say for sure, though it sounds to me like it might be causing you to shift the weight forward, in which case you may be trying to push through your toes. Again, try to concentrate on pushing through the heels to hit that posterior chain.

    Then again it could be a combination of overall lower body inflexibility - hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and ankles.

    Just be careful squatting with weight. Lower back injuries suck bad.


    Here's a good video and in depth explanation of technique: YouTube - Squat Rx #4

    The first girl in this video has a beautiful technique, as well as a gorgeous posterior chain - notice that even though she squats to full depth, she never loses that lumber arch, and her feet stay flat - YouTube - Overhead Squat - Bodyweight x 15 reps

    As an aside, I really dislike Crossfit though. If you watch these girls, you can see how their form suffers as they get higher in reps.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by xx00oo00xx View Post
    Ok, good point about stretching. So you don't think it significantly changes which muscles are targeted and how they are targeted? Ha, I know I sound perfectionistic, but it's just that I seemed to be working the front of my legs more than I would in a normal squat (without plates), like the load was being taken away from my hamstrings and glutes. Any ideas of what I was doing wrong? Lifts too high? Leaning forward too much?

    edit: by "without plates" I meant under my heels. Just to be clear.
    No, not significantly. Squats are meant to work you legs, if it feels different it may be because you actually have support under your heels and are are working your quads correctly.

    Your foot position has more of an effect on which muscles are worked, than having your heels on a small plate.

    When you squat, your back should remain as straight as possible. And don't go below having your thighs parallel to the floor. Yeah you get a bounce, but it's just momentum, not muscles working. If you have a spotter, have them correct your form as you squat.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenity View Post
    It should feel exactly the same. You should still feel like you are trying to push your heels through the floor.

    The main purpose of lifting the heel is for people with poor ankle dorsiflexion. That way, when you do a full squat with your hamstrings meeting your calves, it doesn't require your heels to elevate off the floor causing instability.

    Without seeing your form in person it's impossible to say for sure, though it sounds to me like it might be causing you to shift the weight forward, in which case you may be trying to push through your toes. Again, try to concentrate on pushing through the heels to hit that posterior chain.

    Then again it could be a combination of overall lower body inflexibility - hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and ankles.

    Just be careful squatting with weight. Lower back injuries suck bad.


    Here's a good video and in depth explanation of technique: YouTube - Squat Rx #4

    The first girl in this video has a beautiful technique, as well as a gorgeous posterior chain - notice that even though she squats to full depth, she never loses that lumber arch, and her feet stay flat - YouTube - Overhead Squat - Bodyweight x 15 reps

    As an aside, I really dislike Crossfit though. If you watch these girls, you can see how their form suffers as they get higher in reps.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenity View Post
    Then again it could be a combination of overall lower body inflexibility - hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and ankles.
    Flexibility is definitely a natural weakness, but I've been working on it. Mostly, I think I just didn't think the "heel lift" method was equal to regular squats, so I didn't put the time in to get the technique. Instead I've been trying (in vane) to make my ankles more flexible.

    Thanks.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biaxident View Post
    When you squat, your back should remain as straight as possible. And don't go below having your thighs parallel to the floor. Yeah you get a bounce, but it's just momentum, not muscles working. If you have a spotter, have them correct your form as you squat.
    No bouncing? Agreed. But that made me think, how to full squats and half squats compare? Like, I would think the goal should be to do full squats, but what should I consider before choosing?

    Thanks for all the help. Sorry if I'm not allowing for much time between my inquiries. (Just wanna get it all sorted out so I can start applying it).

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    With no rack? I suppose you could clean it up and do front squats.
    All I have is
    - 2 bars (one straight and one.. uh.. squiggly)
    - A bench with rails that stick up to suspend the bar
    - Weights

    It's frustrating because I can almost use my bench to do it. Oh well. I'll use more reps with the lighter weight.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by xx00oo00xx View Post
    Hey guys. Man this site just keeps getting better (just found this thread today). Here's my technical question:

    I'm one of those unlucky guys with stiff ankles so I can't do full, proper squats. I'm 6'1", 155lbs. as well (wiry). Have you heard of anyone like this ever stretching/conditioning their legs so they can eventually do flat-footed, proper form squats? Or, do I have to use heel lifts?

    Thanks a lot in advance.
    it likely has nothing to do with you're ankles. its probably your hip mobility (hamstrings/glutes/hip flexors) that needs work. Im guessing you're one of these guys with long legs and a short torso? (most taller people)

    if thats the case, you might have more success with deadlifts...

    if youre set on doing some sort of squating motion: bulgarian-split squats could be the ticket.


    Quote Originally Posted by xx00oo00xx View Post
    No bouncing? Agreed. But that made me think, how to full squats and half squats compare? Like, I would think the goal should be to do full squats, but what should I consider before choosing?

    Thanks for all the help. Sorry if I'm not allowing for much time between my inquiries. (Just wanna get it all sorted out so I can start applying it).
    scientifically, full squats ARE NOT harder on the knees (the sheer forces are no worse by going deep). They are only harder on the knees if you "bounce" off of your calves or bounce off of 100% end of the ROM. if you aren't power lifting and can go that low without leaning really far forward, then you should do it.

    If you're not flexible enough, then its no big deal.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    it likely has nothing to do with you're ankles. its probably your hip mobility (hamstrings/glutes/hip flexors) that needs work. Im guessing you're one of these guys with long legs and a short torso? (most taller people)
    Correct. If you watch those squat videos, you can see that most of those people didn't have much flexion in their ankles at all.

    The entire range of motion should come from the hips.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenity View Post
    Correct. If you watch those squat videos, you can see that most of those people didn't have much flexion in their ankles at all.

    The entire range of motion should come from the hips.
    And pay attention to the foot position as well, your natural foot position while standing is with your toes pointed slightly out of mid-line. It's also the most stable position.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    it likely has nothing to do with you're ankles. its probably your hip mobility (hamstrings/glutes/hip flexors) that needs work. Im guessing you're one of these guys with long legs and a short torso? (most taller people)
    Quote Originally Posted by phoenity View Post
    Correct. If you watch those squat videos, you can see that most of those people didn't have much flexion in their ankles at all.

    The entire range of motion should come from the hips.
    Quote Originally Posted by Biaxident View Post
    And pay attention to the foot position as well, your natural foot position while standing is with your toes pointed slightly out of mid-line. It's also the most stable position.

    Fair enough. I think now I can start testing out some new approaches. Thanks.

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