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Old 10-13-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
Craig Cooper
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Default Conflicting advice?

In issue 15, Greg suggests that shallow squatting places undue stress on the knees, and that squatting to the depth at which lordosis can be maintained and attempting to incrementally increase that depth over time is ineffective at best and potentially harmful at worst.

In issue 20, Robb suggests as a strategy for increasing squat depth to do exactly what Greg adivsed against!

My question is, what IS a good strategy for increasing squat depth while concomitantly increasing hamstring flexibility?
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
Greg Everett
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Robb and I are talking about 2 very different situations. I'm concerned primarily with those capable of squatting under heavy loads; Robb's article is specifically addressing significantly compromised individuals who physically CANNOT squat to full depth for reasons having little or nothing to do with inadequate flexibility. For an otherwise able-bodied individual, the stretching etc. presented in the Getting Stiff articles is a good place to start. You can also sit at the bottom of a squat holding a weight in between your legs (basically the Growler with a weight instead of using your own legs for resistance).
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:58 AM   #3
Craig Cooper
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What if the reason that the significantly compromised individual can't squat to full depth IS because of poor flexibility? I have plenty of noob clients who's problem is obvious: they can't activate their posterior chain. But for those who can, when does it become obvious that there is a flexibility issue?
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:58 AM   #4
Robb Wolf
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I think the solution here is obvious…a battle to the Death between Greg and I, all on the internet with name calling and incendiary statements. That or a pie-eating contest. Ok, Greg would win both of those so I guess we will just have to “talk it out”. In all seriousness, Greg’s response pretty well covers it. We are really looking at an integrated approach here.
Let me use an example: We had a power lifter working with us who was very strong but had so many soft tissue problems it was stunning. The guy absolutely could not do an OL style back squat, full range of movement push-ups or even lunge! Hanging fully extended from a bar to do pull-ups caused searing pain in his shoulders so all he would do was half range of movement pull-ups. Now this guy was VERY strong in the ROM he had but he as an extreme injury risk if you took him slightly out of his highly limited functional zone. This guy needed incremental increases in his ROM under reasonable load (some situations that meant a 45lb bar) but he also needed specific flexibility training, soft tissue work from an Active Release Practitioner to break up adhesions and scar tissue…and more patience than he could ultimately muster.

Now, as to your second question of when do you need flexibility training to get clients into a safe, biomechanically sound squat…if they can not do it, they need additional work! Tight hamstrings, hip flexors and calves are the major players here and I can guarantee you that if they do not have this natural ROM they do not have healthy posterior chain activation. We will be looking deeply at these issues pertaining to pre/re-hab in future Performance Menu issues as well as other media.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:59 AM   #5
Craig Cooper
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Thank you very much for your response, I figured it out after I posted my second comment, and you just solidified my understanding.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:59 AM   #6
Neal Winkler
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I'm looking forward to the pre/rehab issue(s). Have been for quite some time... :-(
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