4 comments on “The Geek’s Squat: Proper Squat Techniques for Strength and Injury Prevention

  1. I have a few questions. First, what exactly is the significance of the back and shin being parallel? Is it just a way of measuring equal proportions of the load being placed on the hips and knees?
    Second, Fry stated that the torque was placed on the knee joint and hip joint. Squatting with the load placed more heavily on the hips (vertical shins) would require more hip flexion which would cause the load to be placed on the hip extensors, adductors, and abductors. A squat with more vertically oriented shins requires more of the load to be placed on the posterior chain, but with rigid spinal erectors, there wouldn’t necessarily cause torque on the low back, just more flexion at the hip and less at the knee. I may be wrong, I guess I just need some extra explanation. Also, I’m a powerlifter so I may just have a bias causing me to favor the emphasis of the use of the posterior chain. Great blog, by the way. You’ve got lots of really great posts!

    • It absolutely does increase torque. 2 reasons. Take a look at force arm and resistance arm. The longer the force arm is from axis of rotation the easier the lift. For example, try closing a door from the door knob. Then try closing the door while pulling from near the door hinge. When the force is applied from a longer distance (at the door knob) the force needed to overcome load is much less. Same goes for resistance arm. Hold a 50 lb dumbbell and do shoulder flexion with the arm fully extended. Now perform shoulder flexion with fully flexed. The lift is much easier with arm flexed because resistance arm is much shorter.
      In the squat, with excessive flexion at the hip, the horizontal resistance arm of the low back is significantly increased relative to the axis of rotation (hips).

      In addition, angle of flexion will alter force production. Considering length tension relationships, when excessive forward lean is noted the posterior chain is in a mechanical disadvantage (lifting from a lengthened state).

      All that said, I agree loading the posterior chain is important. Also, for every statement I make here there will. E someone else who states otherwise. But I stand by my opinion, I would rather lift with equal weight distribution but can understand the pundits thought process.
      In my opinion squat as deep as your ankle dorsiflexion will permit. Once dorsiflexion stops all additional ROM needed must be made up from low back or the knee. A good guy to study don chaffin from the university of Michigan center for ergonomics. He has done a lot of low back load modeling. 2-d and 3-d systems which discuss lumbar shift and load to failure.
      Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for the inquiry.
      Appreciate it

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