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Thread: Anthropmetric Anomalies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Anthropmetric Anomalies

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    What percentage of people (if any) have you all seen with the inability to reach proper squat depth?

    I was recently told by a professor of mine that you have to evaluate the specific anatomic shape of each individuals hip in order to assess how they need to stand in order squat, and that 5-10% of people will simply be unable to achieve proper squat depth without a commensurate failure in another aspect of the squat to compensate for being able to reach depth. When i asked some more questions about this because it seemed suspect to me, i was informed that i simply dont have enough experience and practical time working with patients. Fair enough, so i thought i would ask this community of coaches that do have enough experience in this field. I am compiling information so that i can present an informed response.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Austin, TX


    I have taught or coached the squat to several thousand people, and have had exactly 1 who had trouble getting to depth because of something like this. To clarify, I've had a handful more who couldn't get to depth on day 1, but those were all because of weakness: elderly or obese people whose bodies would not let them go down into a position from which they knew they could not get back up. All of those people were able to squat to depth, no problem, with some training.

    I've had exactly 1 person who seemed to fit this description out of several thousand: a young, strong woman who had trouble getting to depth for no external reason I could detect. So while I don't have an x-ray of her hip or anything, the practical outcome matches this description and it's my best guess. I coached her in late 2018, and I started coaching serious barbell training using and inspired by the starting strength methodology in 2008, so it took a decade before I found this one person.

    Then we have something like the sumo deadlift: also over several thousand people, I've had exactly 1 - a different woman - who could not get into position to pull a conventional deadlift. She was the same height as me, 6' tall, but her hip bones were almost as high as my sternum. She was a true outlier - again, 1 in several thousand.

    These people exist, but in my experience: a sample size of thousands over 12 years - they are exceedingly rare, and I suspect the 5-10% number is either due to selection bias (it's possible a cohort of injured people or people dealing with pain coming to a therapist are more likely to have this issue than general pop), or a lack of coaching competence, or both.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015


    Thank you for your response.


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