Squat Issue

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by jtmb, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. jtmb

    jtmb Blue Belt

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    I recently started training with my little brother who is 16 and the most athletic thing he's done so far in life involves his thumbs. That being said, I have him on starting strength and technically, he is progressing pretty quickly for only having lifted a total of 3 weeks.

    There is one main issue I have noticed while he squats though. Generally, he has solid form in terms of depth and setup. Still needs to tweak a few things here and there, but otherwise I've seen a lot worse. However, usually after a set or two, or if we add a few lbs to the bar, he starts doing this weird hula-hoop shit that leaves me baffled. I have seen it a few times on 'squat help' threads but I never really paid attention to the advice given since I never had this problem personally.

    I will try and take some video on my next lift day, Thursday, but does anyone have any idea what would be causing this? I don't think it's a spinal cord issue (e.g. scoliosis, I remember seeing that in a vid Urban posted if i remember correctly) and I would think it is probably a flexibility issue but he hits depth with ease.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. ExtremeStandard

    ExtremeStandard Yellow Belt

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    If this hula hooping motion you are noticing is in his knees, tell him to widen his stance slightly and point his toes out a little more then make him focus on pushing his knees out as he gets out of the hole. Now if this hula hooping motion is in his hips...well he may need to lower the weight and readjust his positioning and sit between his ankles more rather than sit back.
     
  3. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    A small amount is somewhat normal. A more signifcant amount is something you need put more effort into addressing.

    It could be due to a technique is; like not pushing the knees out enough, an activation issue, like one glute activating sooner/better than the other, read this: How to Optimize Posterior Chain Power: Glute Activation | StrongLifts.com. Or it could be due to one side being weaker than the other, in which case unilateral work for the legs and "core" should be done. Or some combination of the above.

    Since he's new, it's should be easy to fix, if you're smart about it. Do the above, and be conservative adding weight, don't have him do a weight/reps/sets where's signifcant hula hooping.
     
  4. jtmb

    jtmb Blue Belt

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    Yeah my description wasn't very helpful of what the actual issue is. I'll get some video up soon...It seems as if he shifts the weight to his right hip first to break past a certain range of motion, then his hips drive off the other side. I'm thinking it will fix itself to some degree since he is so new, he is still pretty raw, but on the other hand I don't want to just assume it will go away on its own and have to deal with it later.

    I could see it being that one side is stronger, so what would you suggest for the unilateral work? He is currently squatting 3 times a week, perhaps take out the wednesday for lunges?
     
  5. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Depends on how signifcant it is. If it was signifcant, you'd leave out squatting with any signifcant weight entirely while the issue was addressed. If it's more moderate/minimal have him continue squatting, but moderate the weight/sets/reps so that any lateral deviation is minor, and include some lunges or step-ups, glute activation work, planks and side planks at the end of the workouts, which shouldn't add too much to the training load. With the lunges or step-ups the focus is on the quality of the movement, not the weight...they don't have to be heavy, just with control...Ie. no stumbling, no slamming the back knee into the ground on lunges. You can also try different variations on lunges and stepups; ex front, back, overhead, zercher...which will make things a bit more fun, which is important, especially if you have to moderate weight used temporarily.
     
  6. jtmb

    jtmb Blue Belt

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    Ok, here is some video I took today. I told him to keep the weight at 135 for 5 reps; the heaviest he has lifted is 3 sets of 5 at 155. It isn't very pronounced in any of the videos, but you can notice it a bit in the third one which I had him do with 155.



     
  7. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    It's not extreme, and I think it looks worse than it is because squats are still a new movement for him.

    I'd say (1) better shoes, such as some chucks, (2) really have him focus on pushing the knees out. (3) include some lunges at the end of each, or every other workout. They don't have to be especially difficult, just excuted with plenty of control.

    Keep in mind that some lateral deviation is normal, especially when someone is fatigued or near their max. You just want to minimize it.
     
  8. Ghost Ape

    Ghost Ape Yellow Belt

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    The form is not very good on these. If you are actually having him do the SS program then you should get him to do low-bar squats properly. There is a long-ass section in the book about how to low-bar correctly. Right now he is doing high-bar half squats and his knees are all over the place.
     
  9. jtmb

    jtmb Blue Belt

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    Without busting out a low-bar/high-bar debate, I prefer high-bar and train as such, so that is the path I chose to teach. Cleans will also eventually be introduced gradually, and strictly from an athletic-movement carryover perspective, I feel they are more beneficial, especially considering I don't think he has any desire to compete in powerlifting competitions where the low-bar will provide a greater advantage.

    That being said, it is only about the 7th time he has squatted (in his life), so I'm not overly concerned with his knees having some movement. That is an issue that will iron itself out with time and repetition, as long as I keep as eye on him, which I do.

    As far as the half squat comment, I have to say, you must be a bit of a nazi on that one. Depth can certainly improve a bit, but keep in mind, it's the 7th time he's squatted in his life. He broke parallel on almost all reps, and the couple that missed were pretty much parallel. Maybe that angle wasn't ideal for demonstrating depth; this one is a little better though:

     
  10. Ghost Ape

    Ghost Ape Yellow Belt

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    It was mostly the angle, but still, high-bar allows you to go pretty deep. Only the first rep is truly below parallel, the second is above parallel and the rest are at parallel. Also keep in mind that SS is focused around doing the low-bar squat multiple times per week, recovery and progression on high bar will be a little different.

    I found goblet squats helped me prevent butt-wink and sit "between" my legs instead off "on" them. You could try having your brother do several sets of goblet squats until his back angle is nearly perfect and his knees stop sliding around, then go back and try it with a barbell. Having the weight in your hands forces you to stay upright and not lean over so much, while also not using much weight, which reduces the change of injury.

    Also maybe make him do this stretch:
     

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