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-   -   Transferring to the Olympic Squat (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6931)

Peter Möller 02-02-2013 08:47 AM

Transferring to the Olympic Squat
 
I spent the last 4 months or so, trying to transfer to the Olympic type squat. My previous training history has included a lot of medium distance running and doing a more "powerlifting type squat" where you sit back. However, after working hip & ankle mobility for the last months, my hip mobility has improved a lot. I´m at a point now where I think my biggest issue is ankle mobility. No matter what I do I can´t get my knees more than an inch over my foot in the bottom position. I tried stretching the foot & ankles with straight as well as bent knees, the sitting ankle stretch with a bar on my knees and using the PNF method, but no success.
As I mentioned I previously ran a lot and on top of that, never minded to stretch my calves or ankles. Running like that for about 8 years + no stretching probably didn´t do a lot for ankle/calf mobility.....:o :D
But anyway. Seeing a lot of improvement in hip mobility but zero in ankle mobility, What do I do? I can keep doing what I´m doing now, but seeing as I haven´t seen any progress in ankle mobility it doesn´t really seem productive to just keep doing that?

Tamara Reynolds 02-02-2013 10:16 AM

Are you able to break parallel? I mean, as long as your are below parallel and can keep your chest up and back in extension, the best stretch for you is probably going to be a loaded high bar squat. The exercise itself will help you get into the correct positions over time.

Also, I guess this should go without saying, but are you wearing lifting shoes?

Peter Möller 02-02-2013 02:04 PM

Parallel is no problem. Have to admit it, no lifting shoes, more barefootisch.:o
If I put small plates under my feet i can sit in the bottom with good form with no problems. If it says anything, it´s the same when I do pistols. If I have plates under my heels I can do full ROM pistols, but without it I round my lumbar spine in the bottom. So I´m thinking if I had a little better ankle mobility i could have a greater lean forward in my shins? Or am I wrong? Currently my shins stay almost vertical no matter what I do.
I guess I could just always wear lifting shoes, but somehow I´d like to be able to do it flat footed as well. Maybe that´s a bit stupid..

Thomas Brenden 02-02-2013 09:12 PM

I'm with Tamara; just doing the movement is enough of a stretch that you'll increase mobility over time. Especially if you focus on getting as low as you can in every rep.
That being said, everybody's body is different, so some people's knees will slide forward more than others. I don't think it's something that you should actively be trying for. Just load up the bar, squat, and consciously get as deep as you can fighting for an upright back.

Tamara Reynolds 02-03-2013 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Möller (Post 98938)
Parallel is no problem. Have to admit it, no lifting shoes, more barefootisch.:o

If I put small plates under my feet i can sit in the bottom with good form with no problems. If it says anything, it´s the same when I do pistols. If I have plates under my heels I can do full ROM pistols, but without it I round my lumbar spine in the bottom. So I´m thinking if I had a little better ankle mobility i could have a greater lean forward in my shins? Or am I wrong? Currently my shins stay almost vertical no matter what I do.

I guess I could just always wear lifting shoes, but somehow I´d like to be able to do it flat footed as well. Maybe that´s a bit stupid..

I never understand why people argue about buying lifting shoes and insist that doing something barefoot is better.

Do baseball, basketball, soccer and football players play barefoot? No. They don't. It would be stupid. Every sport has its own footwear for a reason. No one goes around saying that LeBron James is using his basketball shoes as a crutch.

Be one of the smart people. Buy some lifting shoes.

Stop paying attention to your shin angle. The amount of forward knee travel that you have is dictated by your anthropometry. Buy some shoes, add weight to the bar, and stop thinking about your knees outside of keeping them shoved out.

John Donovan 02-03-2013 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen (Post 98942)
I never understand why people argue about buying lifting shoes and insist that doing something barefoot is better.

Do baseball, basketball, soccer and football players play barefoot? No. They don't. It would be stupid. Every sport has its own footwear for a reason. No one goes around saying that LeBron James is using his basketball shoes as a crutch.

Be one of the smart people. Buy some lifting shoes.

Stop paying attention to your shin angle. The amount of forward knee travel that you have is dictated by your anthropometry. Buy some shoes, add weight to the bar, and stop thinking about your knees outside of keeping them shoved out.

Well said. No pulled punches there!

Peter Möller 02-03-2013 08:56 AM

I see your point on the shoes. However, weightlifting isn´t really my sport, not basketball, football or soccer either. I do however use the Olympic lifts as a complement to my other training. Most my other training is done barefoot and most of my life in general, I´m barefoot.:)
So I figured I wanted the mobility to be able to do it barefoot as well. But again, you have a good point and I´ll consider the shoes.
I´m starting to think it would be a better idea videotaping my squat to get some help seeing what prevents me from getting in the bottom position without good form. From my point, I just did a lot of research and got to a point where I was convinced that it had to be ankle mobility as I can´t get my hips over my heels and shins being vertical along with the other issues I already mentioned in my previous posts.
But again, might be better to just video tape it.
Thanks alot for your help and input though, I appreciate it!

Tamara Reynolds 02-04-2013 04:00 AM

You're welcome. And, yes, just video and then someone can tell you in 5 seconds what's going on. Sometimes, people have a picture in their head of what their squat should look like, and they are convinced that they are doing it wrong. Often, their squat is perfectly fine. Yes, a million and one people screw up squatting, but that doesn't mean you are one of those people.

Whit Matthews 02-05-2013 10:45 AM

I understand where you're coming from; I'm a barefoot runner and in general hold on to the idea that I should be able to do everything with as little equipment as possible, which usually means no shoes. When my feet get torn up from running barefoot, that's simply a part of conditioning. So when I started olympic lifting in September, it was with my own equipment in empty parking lots, barefoot. When I did go into a gym to do some heavier squats, it was wearing converse low-top chucks, with a flat sole.

I finally wised up and got olympic lifting shoes for christmas (I got the Again Faster Team Oly Shoes, partly b/c I like the look of a wooden heel and the price is good). Take it from somebody who likes to do everything barefoot: INVEST IN OLY SHOES. It's worth it. Lifting/carrying/throwing weight may be a fundamental human concept, but improving every detail of your olympic lifting technique is not; it's a highly specialized activity and benefits greatly from specialized equipment.

I still run, climb, slackline, surf, and do everything else barefoot, but I love putting on my oly shoes when it's time to go to work :)

Tom Borak 02-11-2013 12:41 PM

Peter, one thing you may try is mobility work on your calves - just below the knee, as well as around your achilles (ie - at the ends of the muscle). Rolling these areas out with an agressive foam roller or even using a barbell can really help break up some tightness and improve mobility over time.

I have also used a kettle bell (or simply holding any weight will work) to sit in the bottom of a squat, centering the weight over one ankle at a time to slowly stretch the achilles. I broke my left ankle two years ago and there is a notable difference in my flexibility from left to right. These methods have helped me close that gap significantly and I don't see any reason why it can't work bilaterally as well! Good luck!


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