Thursday, March 8, 2012
The squat is a fundamental human movement. Before modern times we squatted to do everything. When hunting, men would squat on their haunches while waiting for prey. While gathering women would squat to pick up vegetables or whatever they picked up during gathering. If you had to take a dump you didn't do it on a porcelain throne that you can fall down onto, you squatted down, defecated and then got back to hunting or gathering. Somewhere along the line we became creatures of comfort and with these comforts we forgot how to squat. Even with the "health explosion" of the 1980's instead of squatting we invented machines to help us develop our legs. Let's talk about some of these pieces of furniture. I call them furniture because if you're trying to get strong all they are good for is keeping you from rolling around on the floor after you've demolished yourself and set a new 5 rm. Leg extension machines.....joke! Leg curl machines......ridiculous! Leg press machines......in theory an adequate idea but still not even in the same ball park with a true full range of motion (ROM) squat. Oh and let's not forget my personal favorite the Smith Machine. This little piece of gym furniture uses a counter balance system to help you squat!!! WTH!! Little tip for you if you need a counter balance to assist you in standing up after you've squatted THE WEIGHT'S TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR PUDGY BUTT!! When I trained at big box gyms and dudes would get off the Smith Machine and then brag about how much they had squatted it was all I could do to not A.) Puke and B.) take them over to the Smith Machine and smash them repeatedly in the face with that counter balanced bar. Which in retrospect wouldn't have caused nearly enough damage. But I digress...
Hopefully I made my point. If you aren't squatting regularly you should be. It doesn't matter which style of squatting you choose. Front, back, overhead, air, during olympic lifts you just need to be squatting. When you squat, squat to full depth, crease of the hip below the top of the knee. It does you no good to squat 400 lbs in a partial ROM. Forget what your high school coach told you it's actually better for your knees to squat to full depth. Your knee is designed to pivot like that and like anything else if you don't use it you will lose it. If you are squatting but aren't squatting to depth you need to check your ego, lighten the load and start hitting the full ROM. If you tell me you have a 400 lb. back squat but you only squat to partial depth I'm going to tell you you're full of crap. Anybody can unrack the weight bend their knee and then say I just squatted, the truth of the matter is you didn't homeboy.
Don't get caught up in what everybody else is doing. If you aren't squatting because "I can't do as much as everybody else" Get over yourself, nobody cares how much you can or can't squat. It's like the saying goes "Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind can go F**k themselves" or something like that. If you want to be stronger, faster, and healthier squat. Plain and simple.