Every now and then an athlete will have a flash of insight that will improve their game from that point on. In hindsight they are always the most obvious pieces of information but never hit home.
During my first squat cycle Greg had made a comment to me about using my legs for squats as a joke. As he said it that lightning bolt of information hit the tip of my brain and everything made sense to me as I exclaimed, “OH! I just realized that I have to use my legs to squat.”
I had realized two important things, I had to keep the tension of the weight against my legs on the squat down, and that there was a tempo to the squat. Previously I had been crashing down on every rep and catching a huge bounce out of the bottom that had been preventing me from using my legs to control the weight. It is important to control the weight down so it doesn't crash on you into the bottom, but also so that the weight doesn't catch up with you and stick you in the middle. I didn’t explain myself at the time but everyone had a good laugh.
The next day coming in everyone who laughed had the same flash of insight and realized that they too had to use their legs to squat. So go home, think about weightlifting, and use your legs when you squat!
Steve Pan is a weightlifter and coach for Catalyst Athletics.
Many people relax their legs when squatting down in the squat and then bounce out of the bottom, especially when doing heavy weight. Doing so places a lot of stress on the joint and not the muscle. People forget that the negative (eccentric muscle action) is just as important as the concentric movement of strengthening exercises.
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