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Squatting Help

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by Pigeon_Killer, 16 Jan 2006.

  1. Pigeon_Killer

    Caporegime

    Joined: 21 Nov 2005

    Posts: 33,296

    Location: Tier 1

    I’ve been going to the gym for 9 months and I’ve been squatting for 6. I usually do 4 sets of 10 reps. I start with a 60k warm up followed by 3 sets which increase between 20 and 30k each time. I’ve got two problems. The first problem is my knees have started to bend inwards. While this isn’t causing me any pain it is making the heavier weights harder to lift. I’ve read it’s to do with weak hip muscles so how can I stop this from happening? Will any kind of knee support help? The second problem I have is confidence to lift heavier weights. I use a bench so I don’t squat down too far but on two occasions I’ve not had the strength to lift the weight back up and I’ve ended up in the sitting position with the weight resting on my shoulders. This has put me off squatting heavier weights. I’ve tried using the Smith Machine but I didn’t like the feel of it and the squat rack I use has no support. My mate usually spots me but he’s only there to stop me from falling backwards. Is there a set method to spotting during squats and would the leg press help me because I don’t want to stop squatting? Thanks.
     
  2. muzzler

    Hitman

    Joined: 1 Dec 2002

    Posts: 985

    Location: Portrush, N.Ireland

    hi,
    ive given up on squats due to bad knees(motorbike accident) and a bad case of sciatica...i just dont wanna risk it anymore! i,for one,thought the leg press wasnt as effective as squats..until i tried it.(imo)its a good alternative to squats.if still squatting try lowering the weight difference each set aswell,20-30k can be a big increase in some cases,specially if its near the end of your routine and youre tired.
     
  3. oddjob62

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 8 Nov 2002

    Posts: 9,128

    Location: NW London

    Knee supports won't do anything to help your knees bending inwards, i would say you are probably using too much weight if this is happening. To fix it you are just going to have to concentrate on keeping your knees pointed outwards. It may not be a problem (pain wise) now, but it will in the future if you don't fix it. It's usually more that people forget about it when they are straining to get those last reps. Ask your spotter to constantly keep an eye on it and remind you.
    Also it may be partly technique. Are you sitting back into the squat (correct), or are you sitting down into the squat (wrong)? The first concious movement should be the hips moving horizontally backwards, not downwards.

    For a heavy squat your middle spotter should be right behind you with his arms coming round in front of your chest, almost like he's about to hug you. He should perform the squat as you do but he shouldn't touch you unless you need assistance. In this case the best way for him to help will be to bring his hands on to your chest and bring his elbows and arms in under your armpits, he then assists you with the squat, firstly helping you to straighten up (most people's first sign of failure is their bottom coming up faster than their shoulders) and then to squat he weight back up.

    Leg press probably won't do much to improve your squat, although it is a good auxiliary movement for leg strength.
     
  4. Pigeon_Killer

    Caporegime

    Joined: 21 Nov 2005

    Posts: 33,296

    Location: Tier 1

    I think it's probably more to do with my form than the weight because it doesn't always happen. I've managed 135k 10 times on quite a few occasions but it's 140k that I'm stuck on. Once I manage 10 reps at a weight for a few weeks I usually move up 5k so I'm hoping I haven't reached my peak. I'm thinking it's my form because my knees don't always bend in so it might be to do with the positioning of my feet and knees. From what I've read I should be standing with my feet shoulders width apart and pointing outwards. Is that correct?

    When I squat I usually stand infront of the bench with the back of my knees touching it. I then lower myself until I feel the end of the bench and as soon as I do, I lift the weight. I think I might be moving my hips downwards rather than backwards so that might be part of the problem. By doing it the former way should my glutes be moving back slighly before down?

    Thanks. This is exactly the kind of advise I was after. I've never seen anyone do this at my gym so I didn't know the correct way to spot during squats. Thanks for the help.
     
  5. oddjob62

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 8 Nov 2002

    Posts: 9,128

    Location: NW London

    Yes your first movement should be moving your bottom backwards. Your knees should only bend just before the point where you would go off balance if they don't. Ideally if you do it correctly, your knees should move forwards as little as possible.

    I usually have a wider than shoulder width stance, toes pointing slightly outwards.
     
  6. asim

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,103

    Location: edinburgh

    I'd lighten off slightly by 10-20 k jus to get this technique right. You can always bring the weight back up. Like oddjob said usually knees buckling is a sign of heavy weight.

    If you dont mind me askin what are your stats?
     
  7. Pigeon_Killer

    Caporegime

    Joined: 21 Nov 2005

    Posts: 33,296

    Location: Tier 1

    Thanks. I've tried it with a wider stance but I couldn't lift as much so I went back to a narrower stance, Male pride :rolleyes: ;). I might try it again, with a lighter weight, to see if it helps with my knee problem and then build up the weight again. Thanks for your time.

    It seems to happen now and again whatever the weight which is the reason I believe it's down to form rather than the weight. If it doesn't happen during my warmup set I'm usually fine with the heavier weights but if it does then it continues throughout my workout. Having said that, I've noticed my mates knees bending as the weights get heavier.

    Sorry for being thick but do you mean my body stats or the weights I'm lifting?
     
  8. asim

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,103

    Location: edinburgh

    your weight and height.
     
  9. Pigeon_Killer

    Caporegime

    Joined: 21 Nov 2005

    Posts: 33,296

    Location: Tier 1

    210 pounds - 6 foot
     
  10. Pigeon_Killer

    Caporegime

    Joined: 21 Nov 2005

    Posts: 33,296

    Location: Tier 1

    I've just squatted for the first time since I asked for help and I made sure my hips moved back before down as suggested by oddjob62. This made a huge difference to my squat as my knees didn't bend inwards and the weight didn't feel as if it was putting as much stress on my body. The movement of the squat felt a lot more natural and the addition of my mate spotting me correctly gave me more confidence to complete my set. Thanks for the advice oddjob62, it's very much appreciated.