Is the knee position stationary during the hip drive? Is the knee position stationary during the hip drive?

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Thread: Is the knee position stationary during the hip drive?

  1. #1
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    Default Is the knee position stationary during the hip drive?

    My question isn't covered well in the book or the videos on youtube.

    There are two ways to drive the hips up: one where you try to keep the knee position stationary, touching the TUBOW the whole time; the other where you allow the knees to move away from the TUBOW during the hip drive.

    Are you supposed to try to minimize the change in the angle of the tibia? Or does it matter? and if so why?

  2. #2
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    Most people's knees go back a little as they initiate the squat. You don't want too much knee extension without some concomitant hip extension, however. As long as the person isn't losing their balance or doing a good morning, knees going back at the start is not a problem. You also don't want them to rebend or go forward in the middle of the ascent, either.

  3. #3
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    you mean "as the initiate the hip drive", right?

    so ideally the knees are perfectly still and the only angle you are changing at the start of the hip is at the knee vertex, and not (also) at the hips. I remember Rip saying it is normal for the back to become more horizontal as you start the hip drive. So I'm guessing that the ONLY thing that is supposed to change at the start of the hip drive is the angle at the knee vertex. or is the hip angle supposed to increase as well at the start of the hip drive to keep your back angle relative to the ground fixed at 45 degrees?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skirsch View Post
    you mean "as the initiate the hip drive", right?
    "Initiate the ascent" would have been clearer yet. Hip drive is a component of the ascent on the squat.

    Quote Originally Posted by skirsch View Post
    so ideally the knees are perfectly still and the only angle you are changing at the start of the hip is at the knee vertex, and not (also) at the hips.
    I don't know if that is accurate. If the knees stayed in place with respect to the toes, but extended and the hips did not also extend, the bar would move forward of the midfoot. Also, given that almost every human initiates the squat by pushing the knees and hips back slightly, I don't know that trying to do something else is advantageous.

    Quote Originally Posted by skirsch View Post
    I remember Rip saying it is normal for the back to become more horizontal as you start the hip drive.
    That is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by skirsch View Post
    So I'm guessing that the ONLY thing that is supposed to change at the start of the hip drive is the angle at the knee vertex. or is the hip angle supposed to increase as well at the start of the hip drive to keep your back angle relative to the ground fixed at 45 degrees?
    As mentioned above, I don't think keeping the knees perfectly in place on the beginning of the ascent is necessary. I am not sure if it is even possible. The hip should also extend enough to keep you in balance, even if the torso becomes slightly more horizontal initially.

  5. #5
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    Related question, if I may.

    I've always wondered why the model recommends establishing the knee position 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down the ascent. Surely it's possible to instead gradually bring the knee forward continuously so that it ends up in the correct position by the end of the descent, no?

    I'm not saying the model is wrong, in fact I think it's a good idea, but I've always wondered exactly why.

    My guess at an answer is this:

    1: Because the knee has to travel a comparatively small distance, you'd have to move the knee really slowly in order to end up in the correct position with continuous knee movement, and this is challenging from a motor control perspective.

    2: Establishing the knee position early on means that you can focus more attention on the rest of the movement components during the rest of the descent, and this is better from a motor control perspective.

    Are there any other reasons?

  6. #6
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    You are correct. You can bring the knees forward continuously during the descent and many people do. It often results in non-ideal positioning at the bottom when that happens, however. Your second enumerated reason is largely why. You might also get a stronger stretch reflex out of the bottom when the knees are set early, too.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Tom.

  8. #8
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    Tom,

    Would it also be correct to say, establishing the knee position 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down the descent also reinforces the need for the lifter to tighten and maintain tightness of the hamstrings down into the bottom of the squat, which then assists in the ascent?

    I'm just curious, as I have found establishing the knee position has been a good cue for me to focus on keeping my hamstrings tight through out the movement.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I think that is a reasonable assertion.

  10. #10
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    Also, when "the people's knee" moves continually and slides into the bottom of the squat, most of the time the lifter does a good morning squat to compensate which is no bueno.

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