Squat Depth Issues - The Chicken Or The Egg? Squat Depth Issues - The Chicken Or The Egg?

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Thread: Squat Depth Issues - The Chicken Or The Egg?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Default Squat Depth Issues - The Chicken Or The Egg?

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    I am a little older than most starting lifters, I suspect (38), former Navy, but have led a fairly sedentary lifestyle for the last 12 years or so (working at a desk all day and have just generally been lazy when not at work). But, I have decided to turn that all around and get started and try to do things right. I will not make excuses like my back or knees hurt when I squat or anything like that (even though they do, I would prefer to work on the issues that are causing that to happen rather than use as an excuse to stop doing them).

    So, anyway, I was wondering how I should handle the issue I have with not getting deep enough on my squats. I am fairly sure it is due to a lack of flexibility and somewhat lower back strength (though not entirely sure). I have attempted the advice you gave to somone else about pushing the knees apart as I go down. It does get me lower, but not quite to parralel. I am wondering which of the following approaches I should take:

    1) Stop squatting for now, work on stretching, improve lower back back and glute weakness and then pick back up squatting after a while
    2) Deload back to beginning weight levels, but keep up the stretching and such as #1 above, but not move up in weights until I can do the squats with the proper depth
    3) Keep moving up in weights and keep working on depth as I go (I really worry about this approach)
    4) Some other approach

    I am thinking #2, but will go the path you suggest. Thanks in advance for your assistance and for the great book (SS), as well as all the advice you give to the folks in question on this board.

  2. #2
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    I like #3.5, which is to back off a little, shove your knees out and keep your back locked in lumbar extension, and let the weight provide the stretch, which it will. If you are not below parallel in 2 weeks, you are not holding your position correctly.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2008
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    Thanks Mark. Will do!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2008
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    Default keep at it

    At 41 years old and after several years of being very sedentary it took me the whole month of July practicing what I call squat "stretching position" (squat down elbows pushing knees out) nearly daily and squatting with 135 or less that whole time to get limbered up and feel more confident that I could do squats after hearing a lifetime of misinformation and ignorance.

    August 1st I started adding 10 (later 5 lbs, and recently 2.5 lbs) per workout and tried to keep thinking about: Knees out - Chest full -Look at spot 6 feet in front - and Rip standing on a ladder pulling my ass up with a chain (as in the book). Also tried to sense the "bounce" feel at the bottom. Lifting shoes helped a lot too (DoWin Rogues).

    In three months I easily and more comfortably drop WAY lower in the "stretching position." I now do sets across of 260x3 and climbing. Keep at it, I am a naturally unlimber person, but I'll be damned if lifting hasn't made me more flexible (Rip writes that but I didn't believe it - now I do, but no one believes me!)

    JY

  5. #5
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    It's just too bad that you wasted the month of July. You should have been adding weight and letting it help you stretch and get strong at the same time.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamma View Post
    Thanks Mark. Will do!
    Don't let it beat you, keep at it
    I started at 44 not without issues of flexibility but now I am progressing very well. My weakness is the presses.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2008
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    Trainer just canceled on me an hour before we were to meet, oh I am so mad. So much for help with squat depth and cleans. So I am asking here. I squat practically ass to ankles. I have always sat like this and often have to squat at work sometimes in the field, peering into manholes.
    When lifting, I have a hard time getting back up out of the hole. Dynamax ball depth seems high as I am short legged, I have a 9 inch box that I can graze and I am thinking this may be a good depth just below parallel. I naturally go down to about 6 inches. I know you say not to use a crutch but how do I "feel" what is low enough if I tend to go too low and don't use something under my ass to know when to stop. I don't know if my inability to add weight is due to bad form or just being a weakling old woman. I can deadlift twice what I can squat, albeit both numbers are pathetic.

    thanks in advance,
    Your favorite old broad

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    It's just too bad that you wasted the month of July. You should have been adding weight and letting it help you stretch and get strong at the same time.
    I realize that more now, but it has taken me many months to get over my fear of squats f-in up my knees and back - I mean I've been brainwashed for years!

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