Squats?

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#1
I was told at the gym i go to that when doing squats to never cross the invisible line w/ your knees that runs up from your toes. I was told this is bad and i should stick my butt out further. Is this true? Ive tryed it and dont seem to get anything out of this form? I was at a few websites looking and reading about squats but i havent seen anythng about this. Also how is it easyest to tell when you have come to a 90 degree angle w/ at your knees?
 
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#2
Plain and simple, squats are hard. Whoever told you to use that invisible line from your toes is a smart man/woman. You put the weight on your shoulders, start going down keeping your knees behind that line and your head up, stick your butt way out there, and then come back up. The reason you keep your head up is so that you don't tip forward and it helps get the weight up. You can stand in front of a mirror to make sure your going down 90 degrees. If your having trouble keeping your knees behind the line you can touch your toes to a wall then do them. MAKE SURE YOUR USING A SPOTTER, especially when your using the wall because you will probably fall back once or twice.
Hope I helped, and hey, shouldn't you be at the gym?
 
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#3
Ill have to get a spotter. Ryno the person who told me was my personal trainer, guy use to wrestle and knew what he was talking about. What does keeping my knees from passing that line do? keep the pressure off the knee joint?
 

bbbom

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#4
If you let your knees move forward, your head will have to move backwards unless you are extremely flexible in your hips (contortionist style). This puts the pressure on your knees and hips and flattens out your lower back into an unnaturally weak position (unless you do a LOT of limbo contests). It also makes it more likely that you will fall backwards.

Stand next to a mirror with no weight at all and try to keep your back straight (maintaining the natural curve of the lower back) while squating down with your knees going forward in front of your toes. I doubt you can keep your head upright. I know I can't.

Next keep your back straight & squat as if you are going to sit down, sticking your butt back and keeping your knees from moving forward. Should seem much easier. This position will allow you to lift heavier weights, and build more muscle - it works the quads, hamstrings & glutes really well and brings all the stabilizing muscles into play too. I love squats!!!

There is a killer movement where you lean back & lower yourself down similar to a squat letting your knees move forward, it's called a Sissy Squat. Just bodyweight will usually be enough & you hold onto a bar next to you or a rope around a pole or something with your heels off the ground. They will work your quad & inner thigh really well but they are hard on the knees for some and they don't build the muscle nearly as well as a squat with good form.

If you are doing squats correctly, you should really feel it in your quads, and butt. It is possible that you aren't going down far enough. A mirror (like Ryno said) is the best way to see if you are going down far enough.

It is also a good idea to use lighter weights until you get the form figured out. Even with pretty light weights and more reps, you should feel the muscles working. You can go lower with the lighter weights too. Try to concentrate on the muscles that should be doing the work, and use the best form you can before going heavy.

A spotter is a great help if you have one available, I never do anymore so I just do more reps with a lighter weight and stop before I fall over.

Here are a couple sites that talk about good form:

http://www.power-matrix.com/squats.html

One note on this first link, they advocate weightlifting belts - I don't agree with that. Unless you are going for a single rep max lift all a weight belt does is get you into trouble by letting you lift more than you are ready for AND keep you from developing the strength in your stabilizer muscles needed to keep improving. IMO if you're body isn't strong enough to lift regularly without wraps & belts, you either need to work on form, reduce the weight to let the weak links develop or take time off to heal up.

http://www.betterbodz.com/quariceps/squats.html
 
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#5
Bbbom is a SMART woman, listen to everything she says and soak up every ounce of intelegince she will allow. Any info I gave is what my coach told me and what I have experienced in the last month of weightlifting. I usually have to use at least the bar when trying to get my form correct, it helps balance me.
 

bbbom

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#7
It won't damage your knees unless you have bad knees - basically, if it HURTS then don't do it.

I go past 90 degrees sometimes but I lighten up the weight and do more reps. Like it says, it calls the hamstrings into play and it works your muscles differently.

I also change the width of my stance and change the angle of my feet periodically to help shock the muscles.
 

kc-husky

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#8
What I do to know I'm down far enough is to set the catch arms on my rack a little lower than what I need to sqaut down to. And when my hand rubs against it or the bar lightly touches I go back up. This way I can look straight forward and work on my form.
What do you get from the down load on this web site http://www.power-matrix.com/squats.html ?
 

23jayhawk

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#9
I've gotten to where I only use the Smith rack for all squats. The slide runs at just enough of an angle that you can keep your feet out in front, keeping the pressure off the patellar tendon.

Also, you might find that slipping a 5 lb plate under each heel makes it more comfortable. Depends on the person.
 

23jayhawk

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#11
Here's a sketch. Click

BTW, I'm not doctor so it may be some other ligament or tendon that flares up. But in the past, when I've not been diligent in using good form during squats, usually a day or two afterwards it gets sore in that area. It's similar to what happens after running hills - the downhill recoveries can hurt like hell a day or so later.    

 
 
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#13
Adding to what others have said and this being my favorite exercise. If your having trouble with your knees bending or feel wobbly or uncomfortable. Decrease the weight your using and widen your stance just past shoulder width or a little wider than you are know. Your toes/feet should be pointed inline with your thighs as you squat down. Do not look in a mirror when your having trouble???????? Your correction will be opposite as your looking in the mirror and you can get hurt its better to focus and concentrate at a spot on the wall high enough that you will be looking up. Put the bar lower on your shoulders not at the base of your neck. When you go down inhale and hold your breath, tighten your midsection, and pinch your cheeks together. Exhale on the way up but don't relax your midsection until you hang the bar up. Keeping your shins as perpendicular to the floor as possible is good advise but don't get carried away with it. If you still have trouble and you may climb into a smith machine ( no weight ) and put your feet foreward heels in front of the bar and do some reps.