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Tabata "Bottom to Bottom" Squat
Run 1 mile
*Score is least number of reps and mile time.
The squat is essential to you well-being. The squat can both greatly improve your athleticism and keep your hips, back, and knees sound and functioning in your senior years.
Not only is the squat not detrimental to the knees it is remarkably rehabilitative of cranky, damaged, or delicate knees. In fact, if you do not squat, your knees are not healthy regardless of how free of pain or discomfort you are. This is equally true of the hip and back."
I ran across http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_SquatClinic_Dec02.pdf this article from the CrossFit Journal and it got me thinking about squatting. Ok, that's a lie. I pretty much always think about squatting. But it did get me thinking about how all of you squat.
At first I was hesitant to squat below parallel because I had always thought it was bad for your knees (and having had three knee surgeries I wasn't keen on doing anything that would be bad for them). I noticed a HUGE improvement in my knee function and arthritis pain after only a few months in CrossFit, apparently I just needed to squat below parallel instead of shying away from my knees natural full range of motion.
I loved this quote from the article,
"...we have heard trainers and health care providers suggest that the knee should not be bent past 90 degrees. It's entertaining to ask proponents of this view to sit on the ground with their legs out in front of them and then to stand without bending the legs more than 90 degrees. It can't be done without some grotesque bit of contrived movement. The truth is that getting up off the floor involves a force on at least one knee that is substantially greater than the squat."
Want to know what else is wonderful about the full-depth air squat? It's incredibly challenging to do well. Many of us don't squat well. I challenge you to read through the following steps, do you do all 23 steps every time you squat? You should!
1. Start with the feet about shoulder width apart and slightly toed out.
2. Keep your head up looking slightly above parallel.
3. Don’t look down at all; ground is in peripheral vision only.
4. Accentuate the normal arch of the lumbar curve and then pull the excess arch out with the abs.
5. Keep the midsection very tight.
6. Send your butt back and down.
7. Your knees track over the line of the foot.
8. Don’t let the knees roll inside the foot.
9. Keep as much pressure on the heels as possible.
10. Stay off of the balls of the feet.
11. Delay the knees forward travel as much as possible.
12. Lift your arms out and up as you descend.
13. Keep your torso elongated.
14. Send hands as far away from your butt as possible.
15. In profile, the ear does not move forward during the squat, it travels straight down.
16. Don't let the squat just sink, but pull yourself down with your hip flexors.
17. Don’t let the lumbar curve surrender as you settle in to the bottom.
18. Stop when the fold of the hip is below the knee – break parallel with the thigh.
19. Squeeze glutes and hamstrings and rise without any leaning forward or shifting of balance.
20. Return on the exact same path as you descended.
21. Use every bit of musculature you can; there is no part of the body uninvolved.
22. On rising, without moving the feet, exert pressure to the outside of your feet as though you were trying to separate the ground beneath you.
23. At the top of the stroke stand as tall as you possibly can.
Written by Cassie Finer, via the CrossFit Journal