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Old 09-19-2008, 06:31 AM   #21
Darryl Shaw
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A full-depth unweighted squat, due to the anterior/posterior weight distribution, is something I don't know I've ever seen performed with a neutral spine and chest up in the rock-bottom position. Add a weighted bar to the equation, the weight distribution is completely different, allowing A2G position without losing the neutral spine. Add OL shoes, it's a different universe.

I'd love to see the person who can do an A2G unweighted squat barefoot and not lose their lumbar lordosis. Trying to do it while maintaining a lordosis is a good "rehab" exercise to regain that ROM that we all had as children.
Garrett, there's a few old Chinese guys that live near me and I often see them sitting in a perfect rock bottom A2G "asian" squat with a neutral spine while they wait for the bus into town. They hardly seem to lean forwards at all to stay balanced in this position so their backs are almost vertical and they look so comfortable I'm sure they could sit there all day if they felt like it.
I mentioned this in passing to a Chinese friend once and she didn't understand why I was so impressed with these old guys because she didn't know any Chinese people who couldn't sit like that.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:05 AM   #22
Garrett Smith
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Darryl,
It would seem that to sit in a neutral spine, chest up, "asian" squat comfortably for extended periods of time would require one of two scenarios:
1. Super flexible hamstrings to allow for the required degree of pelvic tilt to maintain the lumbar lordosis.
2. Certain body segment lengths/ratios that allow for that positioning without the effort it would take most others.

A portion of one's torso has to be in front of the anterior/posterior "balance" line, especially if the arms aren't extended forward in some manner, or else too much weight will be back on the heel side to balance OR be comfortable for long periods.

Quick question--I'm assuming those Chinese guys are wearing shoes, maybe dress shoes, correct? Because that does change the issue significantly from barefoot...
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:48 AM   #23
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Alex, I think we have different meanings for "managing" the workout, and the error is probably on my side. When I say manage, I'm just talking about hitting marks and taking a brief pause (less than 3 seconds). I have found that short rests at 7 and 14 save longer rests at 15, 16, 17, and 18.

Grapplers don't train to failure every single session, or they'd burn out very quickly. Matches can be extremely difficult. The force exerted during the opening gambit cannot be duplicated by any workouts (that I have done). And yes, during a fight, we look for opportunities to "rest" aka minimize our exertion while the other guy still has to work.

You are right about the hybrid metcons. The goal is to program them so you can blast through without any breaks. The shorter duration encourages faster recovery, which allows you to spend more time on your sport skills.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:29 AM   #24
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Quick question--I'm assuming those Chinese guys are wearing shoes, maybe dress shoes, correct? Because that does change the issue significantly from barefoot...
There's a Chinese guy in the lab building I work(ed) at who likes to call people after work or at lunch in the squat in sandals. He has a surprisingly small back angle and good ankle flexion. I don't think his pelvis rolls under much if at all.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:34 AM   #25
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I agree with Gant here... fully 100% intensity work is going to lead to burnout pretty quickly. Of course, we all have different recovery capacities, so it is possible that many people can do MOST workouts at 100% intensity.

But to go 100% all the time especially on a frequency schedule such as 3/1 or 5+ times a week you're likely to burnout if you're doing anything close to high intensity especially often with heavy weights or sprinting or such exercises.

Well, that and some form of periodization once you reach elite level is needed to progress faster. You can keep doing your 100% workouts, but it's not going to lead to optimal progression without some form of manipulation of both recovery and programming methods.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:41 AM   #26
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Disclaimer: I'm also slightly biased in my view due to my own proportions.

I jokingly say I have the torso of a 6'4" guy and the legs of a 5'8" guy. My 5'4" wife's legs are as long as mine are. According to Kilgore's article on "normal" body segment lengths, I also have short arms. Makes for interesting squat mechanics.

My torso is so long (and thus a larger part of my BW than "normal") that without a forward lean (assuming barefooted) that there is no way I could maintain lumbar lordosis in a full squat. I have plenty of ankle flexibility, so that's not an issue...

Also, hypertrophied calves/hamstrings/quads/abdomen (fat or muscle) can definitely restrict the depth that a full squat can reach, which can further explain differences in A2G squat capacity.

Gant, your attempt to stay on-topic is admirable...
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:55 AM   #27
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Disclaimer: I'm also slightly biased in my view due to my own proportions.

I jokingly say I have the torso of a 6'4" guy and the legs of a 5'8" guy. My 5'4" wife's legs are as long as mine are. According to Kilgore's article on "normal" body segment lengths, I also have short arms. Makes for interesting squat mechanics.

My torso is so long (and thus a larger part of my BW than "normal") that without a forward lean (assuming barefooted) that there is no way I could maintain lumbar lordosis in a full squat. I have plenty of ankle flexibility, so that's not an issue...

Also, hypertrophied calves/hamstrings/quads/abdomen (fat or muscle) can definitely restrict the depth that a full squat can reach, which can further explain differences in A2G squat capacity.
I agree that anthropometry impacts how movements are performed, no doubt. Super mass/bulk can change things too.

Still, if one could do the front and (hanging) side splits, high kicks, and so on like Tom Kurz, maybe an unweighted A2A squat is no biggie.

Check this video of his out (6.28 MB). WFS
The "bar" looks more like a pipe with tape on it, I doubt it weights 45 lbs, so maybe the weight-shift of the back squat is closer to nil.
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:25 PM   #28
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If one wanted to be a "butt-wink Nazi", as Rip so eloquently puts it at times, he does still have a tiny butt-wink (posterior pelvic tilt motion) at the bottom.

Actively maintaining the hamstring stretch in a barefoot squat, even lengthening them further at the bottom position, requires a tremendous amount of active effort. I don't see how anyone could be "relaxed" at the bottom with chest up and an anterior pelvic tilt necessary to maintain lumbar lordosis. I could be wrong.

With the knees far enough apart, along the lines of a sumo DL stance (although likely not THAT wide), one might be able to do it more easily. Note how even Mr. Kurz had to start splaying his knees laterally (more than in the early demos on that video) in his his wall squats. The butt-wink is still visible even with that addition.

I want to add that I'm not against flattening of the lumbar spine in the rock-bottom of a squat. I simply don't think lordosis can be maintained without a lot of effort, which wouldn't jive with sitting in the deep squat position for long periods. Relaxation of as many muscles as possible would facilitate long use of the squat position. I can totally relax down there, I've at times even considered napping there, but I don't think it would work. My whole back is rounded, armpits over my knees, it is quite comfy that way.

I'd simply rather add some OL shoes to the squat to allow for more lumbar lordosis to be maintained in full-depth weighted squats, rather than allow the back to flatten or round due to an attachment to being barefooted. They are different movements (in ways), with different intentions.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:27 AM   #29
Darryl Shaw
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Garrett,

I see your point about those old Chinese guys wearing shoes when they squat but I've seen them sitting there chatting and having a smoke while they wait for the bus wearing everything from work boots to cotton tai-chi slippers and what they wear on their feet seems to have no effect on their comfort or technique.

I think the reason squatting with a neutral spine is so difficult for most of us is because we spend too much time sitting in chairs which encourage us to limit the ROM of our hips and knees to about 90 degrees. Over time this restricted ROM inevitably leads to a shortening of the tendons and a loss of flexibilty whereas those old Chinese guys, who've probably been sitting on low stools or squatting their whole lives, either maintained or improved the ROM they could achieve as kids.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:56 PM   #30
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Actively maintaining the hamstring stretch in a barefoot squat, even lengthening them further at the bottom position, requires a tremendous amount of active effort. I don't see how anyone could be "relaxed" at the bottom with chest up and an anterior pelvic tilt necessary to maintain lumbar lordosis. I could be wrong.
Are you saying that an anterior pelvic tilt is a good thing and necessary for a neutral spine?
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