Sunday, March 18, 2007

Why You Are Squatting Wrong

Here is a blog that tells you how to do it right. There are many internal links as well that are worth chasing down and reading. SQUAT!


Shaf said...

Wasn't impressed Tom.

Shaf said...

I liked that one though. You're right, some good links on there.

Sifter said...

This is a tough one. Goes against virtually every Tmag, DD, IGX and DanJohn article I've ever read.

And yet... is she wrong about the long term? Her credentials are impeccable, consultant to US Army, etc. Do you tuck and flex, or stick it out and extend? Which is safer, and why does sports medicine have such an awful time figuring this one out???

Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD said...

No mystery - you tuck enough to have neutral spine. Sticking out in back is overarching past neutral. Overarching throws weight on the spine. Makes the lift seem easier (short term) because you don't have to exert your muscles, but your joints bear the brunt (long term).

Yes, it is revolutionary to say to actually practice what we preach (neutral spine) but the idea is to change injury processes so your muscles get more, and you save your joints while you do it.

Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD said...

You know what they say - "The truth will set you free - but first it will make you miserable.

I was brought in because the military was getting high rates of injury from the old ways of training: What is "Fitness as a Lifestyle?" and because many fitness-industry big names from the 80s are now too joint-injured to exercise: Why So Many Aerobics Injuries?

I change exercise to make it healthy - you do not have to injure your joints (or soft-tissue) in the name of fitness.

Another point - the muscles that you would use to bring your spine back to neutral, away from the excessive "stick out in back," are your abdominal muscles. Free built-in ab exercise.

Did you notice Tom's fun post, "We Can Make You Stronger, and Cooler" - the graphic silhouette is not neutral spine, but tipped down in front and out in back. This hyperlordosis is often regarded as normal, but it is not. It is a large cause of mystery low back pain. All you'd need to do to stop it is to tip the hip under just enough to level the hip. Using abs functionally is not tightening, but using your muscles the way that prevents the spine from folding backward under the weight it bears:
Using Abdominal Muscles is Not Tightening or Pressing Navel to Spine.

Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD said...

The link to the rate of military injuries from the gym should be:
Welcome to the Fitness Fixer

Fudo_Myoo said...

Jolie, have you ever squatted very heavy, say twice your bodyweight? Tight abs are a must.

Look at the best heavy squatting powerlifters or weightlifters in history, there are images of them on the net, film, video. I'm not so sure many match your criteria.

Perhaps you can state a few top ranked lifters that do things your way, and contrast that with a few successful lifters that do not. Ultimately, such a comparison would be very instructional and educational.

Finally, I'd hope you can show me a champion lifter who has used your ideas to achieve success since you started making your revolutionary advisements on lifting. I say this sincerely, in the hopes of learning from that athletes example. (Gotta make your intent clear on the net)

So please, show us the evidence and proof to support your claims.

Thank you.

Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD said...

As above - it "works" - like smoking works to lose weight. It works but is still not good for you. You can use performance enhancing substances too to make you a champion lifter. But it is still not healthy. By happy to have cool new info.

Those who know who I am, know I have done physical things.

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth, but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

cayenne said...

Dr. Bookspan,

If I understand correctly, you maintain that the deadlift exercise is unhealthy. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

Do you have an opinion on kettlebell work ? Specifically, movements like the swing, snatch, clean & jerk, etc. ?

Is it your position that the "semi-crunch" (ie; pelvis tucked, ribs slightly "engaged" in a forward lean, ) is the optimal position for mostly all activities ?

More specifically, is this what you recommend for walking, standing, & sitting ?

Thank you.



Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD said...

No, the overly-arched "stick out in back" is unhealthy. Also the crunched position is too. Neither is neutral. Just stay neutral. No rocket science.

The muscles you use to prevent the overly arched position to come to neutral are your abs, by the way. Free exercise.

As all comments above. See links provided.

I will get back to work now. Come enjoy changing fitness back to health on The Fitness Fixer.

Brett Jones said...

I am late in the game here but did post a blog on my blog about this - Dr. Brookspan's credentials are great and I like some of her ideas but proper form for squatting is not the same as proper form for martial arts. Neutral spine is great but loading the hips effectively is of great concern as well. And loaded squats with toes straight ahead is asking to beat up your hip joints - as is squatting or deadlifting with the stance too wide. Also - deadlifting is not dangerous - it is how we pick things up every day.
Interesting stuff.