Leg length discrepancy, shims, and helicopter squats Leg length discrepancy, shims, and helicopter squats

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Thread: Leg length discrepancy, shims, and helicopter squats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Default Leg length discrepancy, shims, and helicopter squats

    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    Greetings all. Some general parameters to get the ball rolling: IBDTP for 7 months. For 20 years prior I sold out on cardio (I’m a wildland firefighter, for training I did trail marathons and half’s) and then I broke my foot two years ago and stopped running. I get an hour and a half PT a day, so I started strength training. Found the program, took my squat up to 350, bench to 250, deadlift to 390. There are no starting strength gyms around, I lift in the engine bay at work or my home gym, and no one I am familiar with is certified to coach. I rely on the good book, Alan Thrall and Omar, my IPhone, and my wife to try to execute the lifts properly.

    I have a congenital defect that has my right hip set higher than my left (confirmed with x ray) and this makes my right leg .75” shorter than my left. Per Mark’s excellent article on the subject I presently use a piece of floor matting as a shim to even everything out. Form appears good when this is used.

    Now that I’m pushing a combined total of 1000 (my initial goal) I would like to do a powerlifting meet just to make it official. Unfortunately, when I squat without the shim, my left side bottoms out with a straight bar path while my right (short side) fails to hit depth and the bar collapses forward causing a forward knee shift at the bottom (no valgus, more like a dive bomb). When I come out of the hole, I helicopter the right side while the left side bar path remains straight.

    How do I manage this problem for a meet? Would it be possible for me to wear a squat shoe on one foot and a wrestling shoe on another or would that get flagged? Need some options here....

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    42,239

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    Put a shim on the bottom of the shoe on the short leg. That was in the LLD article.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2020
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    If I do that will they allow me to participate is really the question I am worried about. Reading thru the rule books for the various federations, all I could find was language about unmodified equipment.

    Sidebar-as a 42 year old “old guy” in the department, Starting Strength has given me a new way to humble the young pups. I used to be faster than them, then I went further than them, now I’m stronger than them (for a season, anyway). The young eat the old if you let them.....

  4. #4
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    Feb 2020
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    Would that get me DQ’d? From all the rules I’ve been reading I was afraid that would be viewed as an illegal equipment modification. Does it depend on how stringent the judges are? I realize I’m not going to be competitive, but rather to be a participant—however, the whole point is to have the lifts count. It’s one thing as a cellar dweller to think you’re hitting depth and completing the lifts and another to get three white lights confirming you did.

    Thanks for your reply.

  5. #5
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    North Texas
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    Post the rule that says a shoe shim would be an illegal modification.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Murphysboro, IL
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    29,757

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    I have pored over the USPA and USAPL rule books and neither of them address the issue of shoe shims or modifications.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    The closest meet that I could reasonably attend would be under UPA rules. It specifies that footwear shall be worn, but goes on to state in the inspection of personal equipment section:

    1. At all competitions there will be no official inspection of costume and personal equipment prior to lifting.

    2. It will be the lifters responsibility to be present on the platform outfitted in accordance with rules governing costume and personal equipment.

    (Skipping ahead to the relevant part)

    6. If a lifter performs on the platform wearing or using any item that is illegal or not verifiably approved, the lifter will lose credit for the lift and may be disqualified from the competition.....any minor oversights....noticed before the lifter performs, should be indicated to the lifter and rectified prior to continuing.

    Since the rule book is silent on the matter and I have no experience from which to draw, I have reached out to you all to get the consensus regarding the matter. Has anyone observed a lifter at a meet using a shim and still get credit for the lift? My chief worry is that I train with the shim, go to the meet, get told I can’t use the shim per #6 above, and have to try to squat unadapted in a meet condition at maximal load with no shim or be disqualified.

    I apologize for the dual posts above. I wasn’t sure I had replied or if the first post had saved as a draft. Rookie mistake as I am new to this forum.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    There is no rule against a shoe shim. Show them to the meet director before your session. You'll be fine. How DARE they discriminate against a handicapped/differently-abled person? Your attorneys will be in contact!!!.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    starting strength coach development program
    Copy that Rip. Thanks for the intel.

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