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Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner

Squatting

Have you ever had a hard time with a certain lifting movement until you heard or saw that one thing that made everything make sense?  Well this happened to me the last time I was watching the MobilityWOD.  For the longest time I couldn’t understand why I was not progressing with my push-press the way I thought I should be until I watched this video – apparently I was starting the movement wrong and was not squatting the right way.  Yes I was told this before but it didn’t really make sense until I saw it and heard him explain why – and no it was not anything that mind blowing.  He simply stated that we should be starting all squatting motions (push-press, box jumps or simply playing basketball) the same way we front squat or back squat.

Just think about the last time you back squatted – did you take the time to set your feet and then make sure your knees went outward instead of forward?  Now think about the last time you push-pressed or jumped – did you perform the same kind of squat first?  If so congratulations you can stop reading this article!!  If not continue reading.

I am not going to try and coach you through the particular movements and how to lift correctly as we have great coaches who are way smarter than I am to do that but I will try to let you know why it is important to maintain the same squatting technique during all these motions.  When you are performing a back squat the knees out cue is used so that you are able to create torsion in your hips and a stable lifting platform.  This is also used to take the tension and torsion out of your knee and prevent any knee injuries that could result.  Doesn’t it make sense that this should be done with any movement that involves squatting motion?  Not only does the knee out cue provide a stable lifting platform but it will also provide more strength as you will be jumping or push-pressing from a stronger base then a stronger end.

To take this one step further this knee’s out squat should be used during ALL your daily activities not just those activities that are done at SCF!  How many times do you sit and stand a day?  Now ask yourself how many times you sit and stand properly – I bet the answer is far less than the first.  Each time you stand up with your knees ahead of your toes you are putting unneeded stress on your knee.   This causes these tissues to be tightened more than necessary which can set you up for injury later.

From now one try to pay attention to each time you stand, sit or perform movements that start with a squat and try to do the same exact motion for all of these movements.  If you happen to hang around fellow members of CrossFit Factory Square feel free to call them out if you see them sitting or standing wrong throughout the day and make them do 10 burpees each time you catch them!