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Bike Ride, Lizzi & Emilie

Exercise of the Day: Day #1

Posted by n0tes on 2010.11.25 at 19:01
In an attempt to actually make posts here, I'm going to do an "exercise of the day".  Where I will break down the exercise, explain proper form, and explain what muscles are the primary movers. 

We're going to start with the squat:

((after general warm-up or stretching))
We start in an upright position, arms above the head (or in front/at side, for the purpose of example, above head)
begin to move downwards placing weight on heels (females: as if you were peeing in the woods and don't want any on you)

Continue motion downward.
here we are at a half squat: if this is as flexible as you are you may need to stop here.

continue motion downward
the farther down we go, the more hamstring (back of leg) activation we will see
standard squat:

continue downward for increased hamstring activation

continue through full range of motion.
full squat:

come back up in a controlled motion (slowly)

Muscles in use:
-primarily: glutes (including outer thigh)
-additionally: quads, hip adductors (inner thigh), calves, hamstrings

Things to note:
-controlled motion
-weight on heels, not toes/forfoot
-lower you go, the more hamstring activation

Can't do a squat? (or scared of falling?)
-No problem!! Don't worry you can do it!!
-Work up to it. 
-Start the motion by sitting (using squat form) into a chair.
-Remember to control the motion (don't just flop) using your leg muscles (glutes/quads in particular) and to sink back onto your heels. 
-Once you have that down, you have two options: a lower chair or go it with-out.

More comments/concerns/questions?
-shoot me a comment.


velvetruin at 2010-11-26 18:18 (UTC) (Link)
I had always read that your legs should be more than shoulder-width apart, but you don't seem to be doing that here. That's how I've been doing them and I am unable to squat that low. It also seems to be hurting my knees. Do you know what difference leg placement makes, if any?

n0tes at 2010-11-26 23:17 (UTC) (Link)
I usually squat with my feet somewhere between shoulder width and "hip width" apart. (anatomically speaking end of clavicle.) Too wide of a stance and the balance is all off, too narrow same thing. I find it harder to sink back and keep my back from going to far forward if my feet are too far apart.
As knee pain (assuming you haven't damaged/injured anything) I imagine there's an imbalance somewhere in your legs. I'd wager that it's your hamstrings too.. If your hamstrings don't fire properly and your quads do, it does cause knee pain. they [hamstrings] basically pull the knee back into place, whereas the quads want to send the patella across the room during a squat.
Fixing this is relatively painless.. stretching the muscles of the legs to regain full range of motion (tight muscles could also be the problem) followed by strengthening of the hamstrings. (look for my post on romanian deadlifts coming soon.) and more stretching.
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