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Thread: Hip-toe connection

  1. #11
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    {nutswing}This discussion really made me appreciate the clear and unambiguous style you've cultivated over the years, Rip. {/nutswing}

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Kelly is a good guy, and he does mean well. I consider him a friend. He is just not a good explainer.

    How about this: those of you that have been training for a year figure this out for yourselves. Warm up both stances, and then load up 90% of your 1RM, and do a couple of reps my way, feet in line with thighs at about 30 degrees of toe angle. Then do it his way, however you want to interpret that. Or do his way first if you want to. See which one works best and hurts the least. Be careful. Video it to make sure you actually kept your toes pointing forward, and to see what actually happens to your knees.
    I think everyone is exaggerating things. Not taking a shot against you Rip but the same could be said for your ~30 degrees. When I squat your way, my feet is not in line with my thighs. It is remedied by moving the toe angle a bit in.

    I tried my own test as well:
    I went down in a BW squat in my comfortable(about 10-15 degrees) form while not forcing knees out. My knees did not collapse in.

    However, when I turn my feet out at about 30 degrees , my knees automatically collapsed in a bit. I'll repeat that I did not force my knees out on my previous try.

    Now I'm no anatomy expert but I figured that if too much toes in could cause unwanted stress on the outside of the knee, then too much toes out could cause unwanted stress on the inside of the knee.

    I'm not saying you are wrong but I'm also not saying that you are 100% right. I think he does not recommend pointing your feet as straight as you can which from what I feel is what everyone thinks he recommends. I think that both your ~30 degrees and his 5-12 must only be understood as starting points. Then it is up to the individual or his or her coach to identify based on his/her mobility/anthropometry/squat technique what foot position lines things up perfectly.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post

    "Now, one of the problems is that we express external rotation torque by screwing the feet in. In the language of strength and conditioning, knees out allows you to create more torque. ...Now, typically when we've turned an athlete's feet out, what we've done is we've un-impinged the hip mechanically, but we've lost the mechanical advantage of being in stable position. So, we've solved one problem, have more room, but before Diane ended up in the same position."

    Let's assume Kelly is addressing our method -- he may not be. I normally do not understand his explanations. He seems to want the feet forward with the knees out, a position which places the distal femur out in abduction/external rotation and the distal tibia internally rotated. Either the knee joint or the ankle joint must be placed in a non-anatomically normal position for this to occur, and all the mobility in the world cannot alter this fact.
    I do not know who Kelly is, but he is mistaken when he states that this method has un-impinged the hip and lost the mechanical advantage. It is quite the opposite, because the position of greatest congruence in which the hip joint still has freedom of movement is when the hip is in a position of flexion, abduction, and lateral rotation. You can take the hip into extension, abduction, and medial rotation which is the position of greatest stability, however, the hip does not move at all from this position.

    Now, to address the medial rotation of the tibia, Rip is exactly right. What this gentleman (Kelly) has done was replicate the classic mechanism of injury for the ACL. The classic mechanism of injury is from a planted foot, with knee flexion, and lateral rotation of the hip. By "screwing the feet in" you have exaggerated the lateral rotation of the hip and thigh and as you begin to go into knee flexion, the ACL is trying to prevent anterior translation of the tibia. Since the alignment of the joint will be off, the translatory motion will be oblique to the normal motion, placing more stress on the ACL. I would assume this technique would also produce tightness in the superior medial aspect of the joint capsule which is going to place the MCL in a stretched position. The Medial Meniscus will be compressed at an oblique angle, and since a portion of the MCL inserts into the medial meniscus the extra tensile forces will increase the probability of injury.

    Slow and controlled reps would probably be fine, and you could probably squat this way 1000x and never injure yourself......but, the one rep that gets a little goofy will probably be the last rep you do for a while.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsky View Post
    I tried my own test as well:
    I went down in a BW squat in my comfortable(about 10-15 degrees) form while not forcing knees out. My knees did not collapse in.

    However, when I turn my feet out at about 30 degrees , my knees automatically collapsed in a bit. I'll repeat that I did not force my knees out on my previous try.
    You want a squat method that keeps your knees out without an active effort on your part? Do you not realize that an active effort to maintain external rotation/abduction of the femurs is what makes this method an EXERCISE for the muscles that do this work? And an EXERCISE for the medial musculature, the work of which is facilitated by the external rotation?

    Squat any way you want to, kiddo. Just have fun and pay your gym dues on time.

  5. #15
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    I just thought, with my stubborn teenage brain, that if squatting that way keeps my knees out without an active effort, then it could mean that this position is stronger because it already reinforces external rotation/abduction of the femurs.

    If this way of thinking is wrong and things do not work this way, could you please tell me so I stop sounding like a moron.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Kelly is a good guy, and he does mean well. I consider him a friend. He is just not a good explainer.

    How about this: those of you that have been training for a year figure this out for yourselves. Warm up both stances, and then load up 90% of your 1RM, and do a couple of reps my way, feet in line with thighs at about 30 degrees of toe angle. Then do it his way, however you want to interpret that. Or do his way first if you want to. See which one works best and hurts the least. Be careful. Video it to make sure you actually kept your toes pointing forward, and to see what actually happens to your knees.
    Well,
    I'm not an accomplished squater.
    However, I tried this anyway.
    Disclosure:
    Before trying this, I theorized that squating with toes forward and knees out would put an unwanted strain on the ligaments of the knee and ankle.

    I also stated that the only argument that I felt could be made for toes forward is one of possible increased stability.

    My toes out squat is not perfect, I have a tendency for my left knee (week side ) to come forward and in to varying degrees depending on fatigue and focus though it's not extreme (to me anyway).

    I did take video which I cannot post now because I spent all weekend ripping out the floors in my house so that I can spend all next weekend putting new flooring in. As such my computer, along with pretty much everything else I own is stuffed into one room.

    Method:
    I warmed up as I usually would ~5 min stationary bike. Then I alternated my warm up sets as follows:
    Set 1 toes out 45x5
    Set 2 toes in about 10 degrees 45x5
    Set 3 toes out 100x5
    Set 4 toes in 150x3*
    Set 5 toes out 205x2

    Work sets
    Set 1 toes out 255x5
    Set 2 toes in 15 degrees 255x5**
    Set 3 toes out 255x5

    (*) so during this set I felt tightness on the lateral side of my knees. I hit depth ok, felt pretty stable. After the set I felt what I would describe as...a twinge? In the lateral side of my right knee. Rather than try to describe the location I took a picture. This persisted for a while and made me rethink squatiing toes in for a work set.

    First work set toes out felt like a typical work set and my knee did not bother me during or after.

    (**) I decided to go ahead and squat toes in on the second set at the last minute. HOWEVER, I must note that I widened my toes angle to about 15 degrees. This set was fine, and my knees and depth were fine.

    My conclusion:
    I think this was actually a valuable exercise for me. On reviewing the video at fifteen degrees my femurs were pretty much parallel with my feet. Theres no way in hell I would ever try to squat a heavy load with less than 15 degrees again. 7-10 degrees is too narrow an angle in my opinion. Just standing straight up with my feet shoulder width apart and parallel feels completely unnatural and I can feel tightness in my knees standing this way. 10 degrees is only a very slight relief from parallel.
    What I learned from this is that I could probably squat at fifteen - twenty degrees with a shoulder width stance just fine. I can reach depth that way and I don't have any problems keeping my femurs parallel with my feet this way. Conversely, I realized that because of this I could narrow my stance and keep a 30 degree toe out and have an easier time keeping my femurs parallel with my feet. Either way this exercise reaffirmed to me that the feet and femurs should be parallel. Attached are pictures of the point of discomfort I felt on the lateral side of my right knee at 10 degrees squat at 150 lbs. Stances with foot angles of 10,15,and 30 degrees.
    Again, I am not an accomplished lifter and went into this experiment with bias that may have affected my opinion and experience though I tried to be objective. I would be interested to hear the experiences of others.

  7. #17
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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I didn't feel any magic with toes forward. It was still heavy, and I didn't notice any difference in my hips at all.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsky View Post
    I just thought, with my stubborn teenage brain, that if squatting that way keeps my knees out without an active effort, then it could mean that this position is stronger because it already reinforces external rotation/abduction of the femurs.

    If this way of thinking is wrong and things do not work this way, could you please tell me so I stop sounding like a moron.
    Simonsky, the WORK is the point of the exercise. We intentionally design the movement to make more muscles work over the best ROM. An active effort is required to train the muscles, which is what you're supposed to be doing under the bar. The more you post, the more I doubt you've actually read the books.

  9. #19
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    Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 03-27-2012 at 12:44 AM. Reason: Fixed links

  10. #20
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    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks for posting these squat videos. Now, tell us what point you're trying to make.

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