Long femurs and knee movement in the Squat Long femurs and knee movement in the Squat

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Thread: Long femurs and knee movement in the Squat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Default Long femurs and knee movement in the Squat

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    Hello Coach,

    with my long femurs I have a hard time keeping my knees in place during the ascent of my squat.

    I am 6 foot 2" and my femurs are actually a little longer than my torso. This means that in my deadlift starting position my spine is truly parallel to the floor (but that feels fine).

    In order to get below parallel in my squat without any lumbar flexion I need to incorporate quite a bit of dorsiflexion at the ankle. I am generally quite flexible and in flat shoes my knees are about 1" in front of my toes at the bottom of the squat, despite me having relatively short tibias, so the knees are in a rather flexed position at the bottom. Because of this I am the strongest if my hips shift back and my knees extend while the hip remains flexed at pretty much the same angle. This shortens the lever for my quads as my knees shoot back but it also means that my back angle becomes more horizontal. I then get into a hip driven squat exactly like you describe it once the hips are a bit above parallel. The tibias are still at an angle and the kneecap is still in front of midfoot at this point so can still feel my quads working. I am not making this a deadlift with the bar on my back, but the knees do shoot back quite a bit. The bar travels in a straight line over midfoot and does not pitch forwards.

    I am not sure if this is just a necessary compensation for my anthropometry. If I do not move my hips back I can feel the quads being the bottleneck and not allowing me to use the full potential of my hip extensors. My hamstrings also seem to be able to contract a lot better this way since my knees aren't as flexed anymore. If i do not shift my knees forward in the descent I have to compensate with lumbar flexion once my hips can't flex anymore.

    So could it be that I need to get into this weaker position to get below parallel while retaining a rigid spine but then I can shift back into the stronger position once my hips are above parallel? Or do I need to change this?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    39,291

    Default

    Video?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Belgium
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Video?
    Sounds like a stance issue on the face of it, but I wanna see a video too. I've got daddy long legs and my knees are fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    2

    Default

    I don't have a you tube account and I would really like to keep it that way, but my squat looks quite similar to the one in this technique thread you just commented on: Squat form check

    The forward lean doesn't get progressively more as much as here tho. It stays at the level of the 3rd rep. I also keep my cervical spine neutral.

    There is one other problem that I have recently encountered. My friend who I lift with and I have somehow managed to "injure" our shoulders in exactly the same way. It is either the posterior delt and/or the infraspinatus and/or the triceps and a part of the medial deltoid that is hurting. It did not happen while lifting but the pulling movements have aggravated it. It is getting better every day and will probably be gone in a week or so, but I think we will have to refrain from doing deadlifts/cleans for 1-2 weeks. Should we add something else that trains hip extension during this time frame or are the low bar squats enough even for the hamstrings?

    Thank you in advance.
    Heinrich

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,291

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich View Post
    There is one other problem that I have recently encountered. My friend who I lift with and I have somehow managed to "injure" our shoulders in exactly the same way. It is either the posterior delt and/or the infraspinatus and/or the triceps and a part of the medial deltoid that is hurting. It did not happen while lifting but the pulling movements have aggravated it. It is getting better every day and will probably be gone in a week or so, but I think we will have to refrain from doing deadlifts/cleans for 1-2 weeks.
    Video?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    872

    Default

    He didn't even comment on my stance comment! Golly

    Also, video?

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