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  1. #1
    Registered User Nagamooto's Avatar
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    Where should you feel the strain for squats?

    I've started to read SS and have been trying to improve my squatting technique by ensuring I use the hip drive. Today after the exercise the strain was in my lower back (where Rip says the hip drive should be coming from).

    The other day my glutes were sore, which I read implies that I was not maintaining the correct angle between calves and hamstrings (i.e. the angle between calves and hamstring was too acute and my back too vertical).

    The hip drive motion looks quite different to the way most people seem to squat!

    My question is: should my hams feel sore (or does this indicate I'm doing a leg press), the glutes or the lower back.
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  2. #2
    Registered User matjusm's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nagamooto View Post
    I've started to read SS and have been trying to improve my squatting technique by ensuring I use the hip drive. Today after the exercise the strain was in my lower back (where Rip says the hip drive should be coming from).

    The other day my glutes were sore, which I read implies that I was not maintaining the correct angle between calves and hamstrings (i.e. the angle between calves and hamstring was too acute and my back too vertical).

    The hip drive motion looks quite different to the way most people seem to squat!

    My question is: should my hams feel sore (or does this indicate I'm doing a leg press), the glutes or the lower back.
    The squat targets all of your legs as well as many other parts of your body so I wouldn't say there is one particular place that you should feel sore at. Just do the exercise correctly and don't worry about something like this.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Nagamooto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by matjusm View Post
    The squat targets all of your legs as well as many other parts of your body so I wouldn't say there is one particular place that you should feel sore at. Just do the exercise correctly and don't worry about something like this.
    cheers - I wont worry about it
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  4. #4
    Hungry for squats wolfbaden6's Avatar
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    1) Your lower back will be sore if your back is rounding = bad lift
    2) If your glutes are sore, then you are not necessarily lifting incorrectly.

    http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quad...FullSquat.html
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    SS style squat should emphasize glutes/hamstrings. Low back will be taxed as it is in isometric contraction supporting the weight on your shoulders. However, as said above, if your low back is rounding it will transfer the load from your hams to your low back, which would increase the soreness you receive.
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    Originally Posted by wolfbaden6 View Post
    1) Your lower back will be sore if your back is rounding = bad lift
    2) If your glutes are sore, then you are not necessarily lifting incorrectly.

    http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quad...FullSquat.html
    What he said. That sounds about right to me.

    Based on personal experience, I can't imagine someone having back pain and using good form.
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    Registered User Nagamooto's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    I just wanted to clarify: it's not a lasting pain. Just the regular soreness you get from exercising - it lasted for about 10mins or so when I exercised and was a muscular pain like your biceps burning/feeling sore after a heavy set of curls.

    If anything I tend to keep my back too vertical - despite having the SS book it's hard to judge your own form (I might have to video myself to gain a better understanding of the shortcomings in my form).

    The things I try to focus on are:
    1. bar held with thumb on top and bar as low down as comfortable on back (so that when I'm fully down the bar is over the centre of my foot),
    2. heels shoulder width apart,
    3. feet out 30 degrees (and on squatting thighs becoming parallel to feet),
    4. looking at a point on the floor infront,
    5. establishing back position by about 1/3 of the way down and not bending too far forward (not really possible as you'd be feeling great pain in your back and probably fall over with a heavy weight anyway!),
    6. squatting till bottom of thighs parallel to floor, and
    7. imagining lower back initiating lift back up (hip drive thingy).

    That's too many things to focus on for me! Are these the right things to focus on? Have I got something wrong on the list which I shouldn't be doing?
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  8. #8
    Cod Squad! TheLefty's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nagamooto View Post
    Thanks for all the replies so far.


    4. looking at a point on the floor infront,
    Looking at the floor is likely to have your head downwards, try to keep your head up in order to keep the spine more neutral. This might help.
    There is no such thing as over-training; just undereating, undersleeping and lack of will.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Nagamooto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheLefty View Post
    Looking at the floor is likely to have your head downwards, try to keep your head up in order to keep the spine more neutral. This might help.
    thanks - will do
    Last edited by Nagamooto; 10-12-2010 at 03:20 PM.
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    i usually feel fatigue in my vmo and hips. sleep well, ice well, foam roll, eat well, and you'll be good.

    i suppose it also depends on where your strong and weak points are. have someone judge your form while squatting
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    Originally Posted by Nagamooto View Post
    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    I just wanted to clarify: it's not a lasting pain. Just the regular soreness you get from exercising - it lasted for about 10mins or so when I exercised and was a muscular pain like your biceps burning/feeling sore after a heavy set of curls.

    If anything I tend to keep my back too vertical - despite having the SS book it's hard to judge your own form (I might have to video myself to gain a better understanding of the shortcomings in my form).

    The things I try to focus on are:
    1. bar held with thumb on top and bar as low down as comfortable on back (so that when I'm fully down the bar is over the centre of my foot),
    2. heels shoulder width apart,
    3. feet out 30 degrees (and on squatting thighs becoming parallel to feet),
    4. looking at a point on the floor infront,
    5. establishing back position by about 1/3 of the way down and not bending too far forward (not really possible as you'd be feeling great pain in your back and probably fall over with a heavy weight anyway!),
    6. squatting till bottom of thighs parallel to floor, and
    7. imagining lower back initiating lift back up (hip drive thingy).

    That's too many things to focus on for me! Are these the right things to focus on? Have I got something wrong on the list which I shouldn't be doing?
    Rip teaches a low-bar squat. In this, the bar is across the rear deltoids. It's at a comfortable ridge on your back; you'll usually know when you find it. Dropping any lower is not recommended.

    Your heels should probably be slightly more than shoulder width apart.

    In a below-parallel squat (as Rip teaches), the crease at the hip goes below the knee. This means the bottom of your thighs will be below parallel.

    For 'hip drive', the objective is to get power from the posterior chain, but make sure that you are not ending up doing a good morning. The bar and your hips move up at the same speed.

    I felt most sore in my adductors when I started squatting. I don't feel sore anymore and haven't for a long time, though I do get a lot of tightness.
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    glutes and legs.......until you do more.......


    Originally Posted by Nagamooto View Post
    I've started to read SS and have been trying to improve my squatting technique by ensuring I use the hip drive. Today after the exercise the strain was in my lower back (where Rip says the hip drive should be coming from).

    The other day my glutes were sore, which I read implies that I was not maintaining the correct angle between calves and hamstrings (i.e. the angle between calves and hamstring was too acute and my back too vertical).

    The hip drive motion looks quite different to the way most people seem to squat!

    My question is: should my hams feel sore (or does this indicate I'm doing a leg press), the glutes or the lower back.
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    Originally Posted by TheLefty View Post
    Looking at the floor is likely to have your head downwards, try to keep your head up in order to keep the spine more neutral. This might help.
    agreed. I try to focus on keeping my chest up. you can't really round off your back if your chest is up.
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    Maybe your arching your back... try keeping your back straight and when going down keep legs at a 90 degree angle. Your knees should not extend your toes. Make sure your knees are behind your toe when your at your lowest position. If you need to use less weight to have good form thats thats what ya gotta do. Without good form its useless and you'll be causing more harm than good.
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    Originally Posted by sweetkissees918 View Post
    Maybe your arching your back... try keeping your back straight and when going down keep legs at a 90 degree angle. Your knees should not extend your toes. Make sure your knees are behind your toe when your at your lowest position. If you need to use less weight to have good form thats thats what ya gotta do. Without good form its useless and you'll be causing more harm than good.
    90 degrees is the worst place for your legs to stop at.

    Knees can go past toes.
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  16. #16
    Registered User Nagamooto's Avatar
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    I'll ensure I don't end up doing Good Mornings (this was one of my concerns) and will focus on not rounding/arching my back by thinking about keeping my chest high (but not overly raising it during the upward part of the movement).

    I'm grateful for all the advice -thanks.

    The squat is my main exercise, so learning good form is a must for me.
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