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Thread: Not your typical squat question

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Not your typical squat question

    Hey guys,

    First, my squat is pretty dam weak (so bad that I won't even post the numbers) but i think its mainly due to the fact that when I was younger I busted my knee playing lacrosse. Quickly ill list the injuries that occurred:
    -Chipped a bone off the inside of my knee (have had 2 surgeries, 4 pins inserted)
    -MCL and LCL tears
    -ITB tore inside my quad

    Seriously, my knee was so bad at the age of 15 they actually considered a KNEE REPLACEMENT because it just wasn't getting any better. My doctor at the time, who was apparently the best in sports medicine in new england, told me that it was the worst knee problem he'd ever dealt with. I spent 4 years at physical therapy and 18 of those months were on crutches. Hell I even had to go in a wheel chair when i went to sea world . Fast forward 9 years, my knee has gotten much better due to lots of persistance. I don't have much pain with it anymore. I get an occassional flare up when theres a rediculous temperature change, and sometimes it feels a little stiff when I Deadlift but I counter that with knee sleeves.

    Lately my squat hasn't seen much improvement (its already pathetic as is), and I noticed some things when I im coming out of the hole that seem to happen. I notice that my knee tends to wobble a lot when im pushing up, and I find it quite hard to "sit back" rather than just allowing the legs to collapse into the hole (which I know you shouldn't do). I have watched many squat videos and understand the form/technique. I even swallowed my ego at one point and backed off about 80-100 pounds to try and fix my issues. But as im getting closer to my previous numbers my problems seem to return.

    So my question is, and maybe its something I should ask a doctor but I know theres quite a lot of smart people here, are there any exercises that you guys might know to perhaps strengthen my knees stability? I do lunges sometimes, and occasionally i'll throw in some stiff leg DL's to target the hamstrings. I even did scissor squats with dumbbells for a while too but I didn't see much carry over to my squat. Not sure if I should back off for a while or maybe just keep my current weight and not try to progress (so I dont lose any strength), so I can possibly focus on strengthening my glutes/hamstrings/ hip flexors.

    -Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    Well first of all I would consult you doctor to see if you are cleared to squat esp if its with weight. I have a few ideas for you, the first one being working on your flexibility and working your form with just body weight.

    Video

    I would start with this stretch and do it for 30-60 seconds. If you have a problem sitting in this bottom position use a 10lbs or a 25lbs plate as leverage.

    Video

    Now, your glutes and you piriformis could be so tight it could prevent you from shoving your knees out when you squat, which could be causing your knees to cave at the bottom.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o0KNU4WAG0
    Next lets loosen up that hip flexors. This stretch I found is intense, but essential in doing before I squat. I would do this a couple times each leg because I have found the second time around I can sit deeper into the stretch. Tight hip flexor muscles will prevent your hip extensors from fully straightening your pelvis as you come out of the squat and move into an upright position. Tight hip flexors also pull on your pelvis as you squat and make it difficult to keep your back straight

    These stretch will take time and you must be patient and persistent. Like I said before, make you consult your doctor before doing these stretches and squatting. These stretches will free up "slack" and hopefully allow you to achieve proper form.

    For you training I would definitely throw in some isolating exercises for you quads and hamstrings such as: Leg extensions, leg press, seated hamstring curls, prone hamstring curls, and hip abductors.

    Matt
    Last edited by Matthew Bryduck; 02-12-2013 at 01:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkoman View Post
    Hey guys,

    First, my squat is pretty dam weak (so bad that I won't even post the numbers) but i think its mainly due to the fact that when I was younger I busted my knee playing lacrosse. Quickly ill list the injuries that occurred:
    -Chipped a bone off the inside of my knee (have had 2 surgeries, 4 pins inserted)
    -MCL and LCL tears
    -ITB tore inside my quad

    Seriously, my knee was so bad at the age of 15 they actually considered a KNEE REPLACEMENT because it just wasn't getting any better. My doctor at the time, who was apparently the best in sports medicine in new england, told me that it was the worst knee problem he'd ever dealt with. I spent 4 years at physical therapy and 18 of those months were on crutches. Hell I even had to go in a wheel chair when i went to sea world . Fast forward 9 years, my knee has gotten much better due to lots of persistance. I don't have much pain with it anymore. I get an occassional flare up when theres a rediculous temperature change, and sometimes it feels a little stiff when I Deadlift but I counter that with knee sleeves.

    Lately my squat hasn't seen much improvement (its already pathetic as is), and I noticed some things when I im coming out of the hole that seem to happen. I notice that my knee tends to wobble a lot when im pushing up, and I find it quite hard to "sit back" rather than just allowing the legs to collapse into the hole (which I know you shouldn't do). I have watched many squat videos and understand the form/technique. I even swallowed my ego at one point and backed off about 80-100 pounds to try and fix my issues. But as im getting closer to my previous numbers my problems seem to return.

    So my question is, and maybe its something I should ask a doctor but I know theres quite a lot of smart people here, are there any exercises that you guys might know to perhaps strengthen my knees stability? I do lunges sometimes, and occasionally i'll throw in some stiff leg DL's to target the hamstrings. I even did scissor squats with dumbbells for a while too but I didn't see much carry over to my squat. Not sure if I should back off for a while or maybe just keep my current weight and not try to progress (so I dont lose any strength), so I can possibly focus on strengthening my glutes/hamstrings/ hip flexors.

    -Thanks!
    Based on what you said about cleaning up form and then having the problem crop back up as you near previous bests I think you may have a lingering pathology. With that said, there are things you can do. First, high rep lying hamstring curls using just light ankle weights are great. They help to promote healthy connective tissue as you strength train. 1-2 sets of 100 reps done 3-4 times per week.

    Next, I HIGHLY recommend you learn to properly box squat. A correct box squat places very little stress on the knees. Laura Phelps Sweatt demonstrates perfect technique here:

    Video
    Last edited by chris mason; 02-11-2013 at 08:16 PM.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    +2 on the box squats.
    Bench: 350
    Squat: 475
    Dead: 500

    "All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous ones, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

  5. #5
    Wannabebig Member
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    Wow alot of helpful info here thanks guys!

    As far as consulting a doctor I know im ok. When this injury was starting to get better about 4-5 years ago my physical therapist had me sent for a final MRI and pretty much what they said in regards to any exercise is what you'd expect to hear. It was along the lines of "Take it easy with new exercises, don't do it if it hurts". Which is good because I don't have any real pain, just a lot of instability/minor stiffness on the very rare occasion.

    Matt- I noticed that last video isn't working properly. Do you think you could post the link to the website you got it from? Also, i've already noticed an improvement in my flexibility just after doing the other two exercises last night. Thank you

    Chris - I read into box squats and they definitely seem like a great alternative. Im going to a hardware store sometime this weekend to buy materials to make my own. Also, im glad you mentioned to use ankle weights for an exercise. I have a pair laying around that are collecting dust and am happy to finally use them for something helpful. Thank you

    As you both said, I'm also going to start focusing on some more isolation exercises too. Hopefully with the re-adjustments ill see an improvement. I'll be sure to come back to this thread and update it with hopefully good improvements in the next coming months.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by bkoman; 02-12-2013 at 01:55 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    * Matthew, I tried to edit this and fucked it up. Can you repost it?
    Last edited by chris mason; 02-12-2013 at 10:42 PM.

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