Do You Know Squat?

The lovely squat. Simple in design. Trunk stays perpendicular to the floor, tall chest, butt goes back, knees push outward, butt drops down so your quads are below parallel, and up you come. Repeat as needed with a ton of weight. Sounds easy, right? Look, even a toddler can do it!


So what is so hard about squatting?

Balancing the Weight:

Stand in front of a mirror for a side view. Try not too flex your biceps. We all know they are huge and beautiful. Pull your shoulders back and up. You will notice a groove between you traps and rear delts. That’s where the bar goes. It doesn’t go on your neck or directly on your traps. Practice it a couple of times and get used to the feeling. If the weight doesn’t feel secure, neither will the squat.

What am I looking at?

I have a tendency to look at the floor or worse yet, look at my feet. The body follows the head. You look down and you fall forward. Not good if you are trying to balance weight on your shoulders. Pick a spot on the wall at eye level. The head and neck should be in a neutral position. Not looking up. Not looking down. It should be comfortable.

Foot Position:

Part of my rehab for my knee is to do squats with a med ball between my back and the wall. I lined up with my toes pointed slightly out, weight on my heels and outside edges of my feet, and as I descended I pushed my knees out. I was immediately told that was wrong and my feet should be straight and my knees tracking straight over my feet. Weird. I did as I was told. It felt completely and totally wrong!

Shoulder width. Weight on the heels and outside edge of your feet. Countless instructional videos from well respected coaches all have the same points.



Squat tutorial

Squat Therapy

Get Depth:

If you think you are deep enough, go down more! The crease of your hip should be below your knees. Just keep working on it and you will get there. Lots of stretching for hamstrings hips. Gotta be loose to get low.

Back Up:

As in getting upright again. Drive through your heels while shrugging your shoulders up. The chest as to stay will. There will be a tendency to lean forward. Look up a little and take a deep breath in. Both of these will help you get tall. Repeat as needed.

What squatting tips can our readers provide? Please list them below in the comments section.

Have fun out there! Lift it, swing it, pull it, press it, and climb it. TIME

Compete Against Yourself

The explosion of CrossFit and Reebok’s Sport of Fitness have resulted in a massive overdose of information and advertising. The message is pretty consistent. Jump into CrossFit and you will be in awesome shape. It is for everybody. You can do this. Be elite! Alright, maybe not the last one. I drink the Kool-aid and definitely believe it fuses all of the necessary components for health; strength training, cardio, flexibility, nutrition, and competition!

The competition can be a big component, and in some instances, a hindrance to your performance and progress. We love to watch the clock and we love to check the whiteboard to look at the numbers from previous classes. Competition is good. Competing against unrealistic opponents is not good. The first few months should be focused on learning the exercises and practicing correct form. You will get faster when the movements become automatic.

Try to compete with yourself primarily. A log book is invaluable and there are a wide variety of apps like MyWOD and Beyond the White Board to help you keep track of your weights and times. Don’t be in too big of a hurry to leave when the WOD is over. Stretch and track your performance. It will help you identify opportunities and celebrate the wins. Make it a point to try and break a record at each workout and celebrate every win. Negative Nancy is very lonely. Positive Paulie is always with a crowd. Compete against people with similar experience levels like those who braved On Ramp with you.

This is by no means a suggestion that you shouldn’t aim high. Constantly pushing yourself is necessary to grow and achieve more in any aspect of life. This is simply a recommendation to keep your aspirations realistic and targeted. Write down your goals and keep track of your progress.

I will be out of CrossFit for the next several weeks. I had knee surgery and won’t be able to have fun for quite some time. I miss it already and it’s only been a little over a week. Keeping it Paleo which seems to be helping with recuperation.

Have fun out there! Lift it, swing it, pull it, press it, and climb it. TIME!