"Bouncing" at the bottom of a Squat?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Lovesong, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Lovesong

    Lovesong Green Belt

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    I've been given two conflicting pieces of advice and I was hoping someone could sort it out for me.

    After breaking parallel on a squat I sometimes have a tendency to "bounce" back up to start my ascent. I was (unsolicted) advised that bouncing like that is "cheating" and I will tear up my knees doing it.

    Well, I got worried about it and focused on coming up slower which is MUCH harder. I find myself getting stuck at the bottom and really having to push to get up. So I asked a friend about the bounce and he says It's not that bad for me after all and it's part of the technique of squatting.

    So who is right? I don't think the bounce is going to hurt my knees, if anything I feel it more on my hips, but I don't want to "cheat" at squats.
     
  2. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    What you should do is lower yourself slowly then when you hit depth explode up with your hips while firing your glutes and staying on your heels.
     
  3. grrthetree

    grrthetree Green Belt

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    Do box squats to help with your ascent.
     
  4. TheAth-ah-lete

    TheAth-ah-lete Purple Belt

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    I know what you're talking about, I lower into the squat and shoot up, I don't chill out in the hole. I don't really feel like it's bouncing though, more like I hit depth and explode out. I feel stronger when I do this. I am no EXPERT, but I feel like as long as you're not just dropping, and you're completely in control of the descent you're alright.

    HOWEVER, I would love to hear from some more experienced squatters who are putting up bigger numbers than me. Is this going to cause problems later on?
     
  5. Lovesong

    Lovesong Green Belt

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    That's basically what I'm describing. I find that if I go down too slow, I end up stopping at the bottom and I have to use extra energy to get started again.
     
  6. Sherpa

    Sherpa Brown Belt

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    As long as you are not coming off your heels (onto your toes) and your knees don't buckle, if I understand correctly, you have a lot of explosive power from the bottom. Thats a good thing if so.
     
  7. B3rserk3R

    B3rserk3R Brown Belt

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    In Starting Strength Rip describes this as a result of tension as you stretch the hamstrings. He says there's nothing wrong with it as long as you're staying tight. You always need to consider the source of the criticism. I once had a guy tell me I shouldn't be leaning forward when i back squat (as I was using 295 for singles). He was half squatting 135 because obviosly you just can't get the low or support much weight while being 100% upright. About 2 weeks later the bar actually fell off his back with the same 135lbs.
     
  8. TheAth-ah-lete

    TheAth-ah-lete Purple Belt

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    Werd. I feel like that is the strongest portion of my squat...good incentive to go deep huh?lol

    I was also halfawy hoping someone would come in here with a holier than thou attitude and a 225 back squat.lol
     
  9. flak

    flak Guest

    How quickly are you descending? Do you maintain a pretty constant speed throughout the descent?

    Reason I ask is, in "Starting Strength" Rip also warns against descending too fast.
     
  10. Old Man

    Old Man Black Belt

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    I'm here.

    To add to what B3rserk3R said, Rippetoe claims a little bounce is good provided it is coming from the stretching of the hamstrings. However, he warns that often a person will lose the tension at the bottom, possibly rounding the lower back, and then the bounce comes from the hamstrings hitting the calves. This of course is no good.
     
  11. megaseth7

    megaseth7 Guest

    The biggest thing that I would be concerned about it pulling a muscle.

    I wouldnt bounce off the bottom all the time but to me it sounds like your not going rock bottom anyways so I'm not really sure how deep you are going. I would just be sure to really warm up. Do you always squat this way or do you do several different squat variations? Right now I've got some kind of little pull in my left abductor so I'm doing lighter overhead squats. I do my best to go as deep as I can but find that I go the deepest when I am doing front squats. My point is that I would always be careful. Its probally better to train at diffent speeds rather than grind through sets of ten. I think its alot safer to do sets of 1-5...say if I was doing 8-12 sets of 2-5 reps I think I'm alot better off than doing five sets of 10 with 275 or whatever...It just seems like however I squat I always get more injuries (little ones) when the reps go up...or when I have been training the same way for a few weeks. I think its safer to use alot of variation. I also suggest that you do at least one set of squats during every workout (if even with just the bar and nothing else). The olympians squat just about every workout and you can see the success they have in that particular lift.
     
  12. Lovesong

    Lovesong Green Belt

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    I keep a constant speed until I hit parallel, then I feel like I drop a bit faster for the last few inches until I try to explode up.

    From what I'm reading it is ok to bounce a bit as long as I stay tight and don't bounce off my calves? I'm definately keeping the weight on my heels.

    Maybe I should find someone with a camera and post a video....
     
  13. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    You shouldn't be descending that fast though. I would focus on going down slow and controlled, like with a bench press, then explode up. A small bounce is fine but bouncing b/c you're going down too fast then getting stuck is not good iMO
     
  14. Lusst

    Lusst Red Belt

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    When I'm in the hole, I don't bounce, but I feel like I do a sort of a spring motion that involves my hamstrings.

    I go down a little past parallel and at this point, I can really feel my hamstrings stretch. When the time comes to ascend, it's like I have an extra kick out of the hole thanks to this.

    Did that make sense?
     
  15. flak

    flak Guest

    One of the guys in my university's PL club does this. He's the strongest squatter in the club (about 600 lbs. suited), so I assume he knows what he's doing. It may be a technique that should only be performed suited, but I don't know.

    I can tell you it scares me to watch him.
     
  16. TheAth-ah-lete

    TheAth-ah-lete Purple Belt

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    Exactly.
     
  17. Lovesong

    Lovesong Green Belt

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    You make sense. I need to make sure that I'm not bouncing but getting a stretch.

    I'll try to video it if I can get a camera because that way I can actually SEE what I'm doing rather then what it feels like I"m doing.
     
  18. RollinDownRodeo

    RollinDownRodeo Blue Belt

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    You don't want to be dropping fast like a rock because you're bound to loosen something up and you should be keeping everything tight. But I definitely use the bounce off the bottom. Just make sure you are getting the hamstrings involved. The bounce is just the use of the elastic energy stored in the hamstrings during the decent.
     
  19. Old Man

    Old Man Black Belt

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    That doesn't sound right, I am betting that you are not staying tight.
     
  20. fearfactory

    fearfactory White Belt

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