if ($is_front): endif; ?> Training Tip of the Week | Powerlifting Watch


Training Tip of the Week

Create: 05/18/2010 - 05:22
Knees Out For Stronger Squats
How often does one see squats at meets that become good mornings out of the hole? This is similar to a deadlift where the hips shoot up at the start, turning the attempt into a stiff-legged deadlift. In both cases, the quadriceps' major contribution to the lift has been largely eliminated. An easy way to prevent a good morning out of the hole is to keep one's knees shoved out throughout the squat. While some lifters descend with their knees shoved out, they often relax this position on the ascent. In addition to increasing strength, keeping the knees out will make reaching depth easier. For further discussion of this subject, see Mark Rippetoe and Stef Bradford's "Active Hip 2.0".
Myles Kantor is a powerlifting coach living in Israel. He has worked with top lifters including Mike Tuchscherer and Eric Talmant and writes about the sport at Elite Fitness Systems. While living in the United States, Myles competed in the USAPL, APF, and R.A.W. United. He can be contacted at myles.kantor@gmail.com.

Comments

Submitted by NolanPower on
Very timely for me, just coming off a deload and squats felt bad and after watching the video this is exactly why.

Submitted by April Mathis on
Completely disagree. Keeping your knees out or not is not the cause of doing a goodmorning to get the weight up. The cause of doing a goodmorning is low bar placement and substantially leaning forward, and is a perfectly fine way to squat. There are many good lifters that use that technique although probably not the best if you don't have a very strong lower back.

Submitted by Derek Willis on
No direspect intended. It is pretty narrow minded of people to claim one reason for flawed form. It could be weak abs not able to keep the body upright, Knees bowing in, bar too low, too much weight, etc... All are good tips. Matt, at the meet at the Naval Acadamy you really dropped into the hole fast. That overspeed could cause your knees to buckle out of the hole. Next time I see you, you had better pull 750! lol

Submitted by Steve Winburn on
[quote=Derek Willis]No direspect intended. It is pretty narrow minded of people to claim one reason for flawed form. It could be weak abs not able to keep the body upright, Knees bowing in, bar too low, too much weight, etc... All are good tips. Matt, at the meet at the Naval Acadamy you really dropped into the hole fast. That overspeed could cause your knees to buckle out of the hole. Next time I see you, you had better pull 750! lol[/quote] I hate to presume, but the terseness of your comment makes me feel as if you did not read the article. While I agree weak abs can contribute to the problem, it is one of a number of possible causes. The article does not posit your claim to not be a cause, but rather, in the experience of the authors, that the "active hip" engagement they are describing, more often than not, corrects the problem.

Submitted by Derek Willis on
I agree. My comment was geared more towards April. She claims that the only cause is low placement.

Submitted by April Mathis on
My point was that doing a goodmorning-type squat is not necessarily flawed form. You can have good form and squat that way.

Submitted by Matt Gary on
Good point, Myles. "Knees out!" is an excellent cue that we often use with our lifters. One tip or cue may not be a cure-all for everyone but it can be the missing link that someone needs to hear. Individual weaknesses and more importantly breakdowns in form, occur for a myriad of reasons. The first place we always look is technique. If you don't have solid technique, developed around your body's genetics, eventually you'll become stagnant. What is often perceived as weaknesses may simply be flawed form. Repairing exercise performance can remove those "apparent" weaknesses. When technical mastery is achieved (often a lifelong process) progress becomes more continual. "Today is ALWAYS the perfect day to train." www.SupremeSportsPT.com

Submitted by Mike Hedlesky on
[quote=Matt Gary]Good point, Myles. "Knees out!" is an excellent cue that we often use with our lifters. One tip or cue may not be a cure-all for everyone but it can be the missing link that someone needs to hear. Individual weaknesses and more importantly breakdowns in form, occur for a myriad of reasons. The first place we always look is technique. If you don't have solid technique, developed around your body's genetics, eventually you'll become stagnant. What is often perceived as weaknesses may simply be flawed form. Repairing exercise performance can remove those "apparent" weaknesses. When technical mastery is achieved (often a lifelong process) progress becomes more continual. "Today is ALWAYS the perfect day to train." www.SupremeSportsPT.com[/quote] This is exactly the reason why I need to get up to Supreme Sports sometime this summer!

Submitted by deadliftdiva on
I have turned my squats into good mornings by bringing my knees in before. I have also done it by shifting my hips, and by dropping my eyes. If I don't keep my eyes up, it folds me. It is always nice to hear other lifters points of view, and often brings me some new insight.

Submitted by Derek Willis on
Plenty of Inner thigh/Outter thigh work, light technique work, concentration. Some people benefit from pointing their toes out slightly as well. Others do concentric or pause squats.