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What are they thinking? They are thinking they’re working the inner thigh, but really (you should know this) what are they working? The hinge joint of the knee is working.


Do I go over to your car, roll down the window park my 215-pound frame on your door and rock back and forth? I do not, and you would not want me to. The hinge of your car door will strain. Get my point? The knee as I said is a functional hinge joint. I see people all the time that can’t maintain the center of mass as they squat. When you go to a gym and put weight on a leg press its much greater then gravity itself. We must make sure no matter what position the legs, or feet are in, the alignment stays the same throughout the entire motion/set. You will soon find how many people are unable to perform a proper squat. There are going to be so many factors and complexities. The fact remains that once learned, it will become an engram (a series of complex commands tied in with a thought to produce a task.


Individual Lever Lengths If all people could squat to parallel each would experience different forces. Think of the body in three segments (but remember we are integrated). Segment one is head to hip, segment two is hip to knee, and the third is knee to ankle. When you squat down it’s like an accordion folding.



We all have different lever lengths. So guess what? If you have a very short femur (not that your short in height) comparable to the other levers, you will be able to squat deep with no problem. That same person should have an easier time maintaining a neutral spine during the squat as well. In high school the coaches for the football team used to take the players, make them squat and most of the taller athletes had their heel pop up as they decelerated. Why was that? The coach would then try to manipulate the stance, or plane so they would keep their heels down (basically screwing up their mechanics). Over time this would produce less force from the prime movers, and create orthopedic concerns. The reason the heels popped up as they decelerated was the tibia was short relative to the femur. During deceleration, and acceleration the tibia and femur have to go along with one another. So when a person went into a squat, the femur went down and the tibia said, “Hey, I have to go along for the ride,” so it followed and the heel popped up. It is that simple. If your femur is much longer than your tibia, you can elevate your heels. A slight incline (two 2.5 lb plates) will extend the length of your tibia. A power lifter could squat lower and maintain better alignment during the squat if they elevated their heel. By elevating the heels you extended the length of the tibia. But think… are you going to have wood block or plates to elevate your heel every time you squat? Let’s understand: not everyone is a squatter. I am six feet and can only decelerate to 45% until I go into hip flexion. When and if you squat (any form) please do it when you’re neurologically fresh. This way you can maintain the most optimal spinal alignment under active control.

Dave Parise #Fitnessfixer