The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    knee position during squat

    I've always heard that your knees should not extend beyond your toes during squats, or else you'll end up with sore knees.

    Why is that, angle of the knees? If the tops of your thighs are at parallel and your knees are that far forward, then the angle at your knees is no different that if you were below parallel with your knees farther back.

    Assuming that you really don't want your knees that far forward, then how do you know from rep to rep if they are? The only time that I can see me knees from above is when I'm warming up and I do squats with an empty bar. Otherwise I'm looking forward and slightly up.

    Is this knee deal just advice passed down verbally without any solid to evidence to back it up? Kinda reminds me of squatting with your heels elevated by plates or a board. "They" say it's bad for you, but there's plenty of people that do it without problems. I've even read where people advise elevating the heels while doing front squats.

    I'm not having any problems with my knees, but I've wondered about this issue before and it's kinda quiet around here right now...

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  3. #2
    beercan
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    I use a pretty wide stance, which makes it impossible for my knees to come much past my ankles, let alone my toes. I remember Tom Purvis had a seminar where he explained that the shearing forces are 8x greater or some crap if your knees start to come over the toes. True or not, I take the wide stance because I'm much more powerful in it, and if that helps my knees, great.
    "I do declare; still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

  4. #3
    beercan
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    *Also sitting back like you're supposed to while squatting will help.
    "I do declare; still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

  5. #4
    Grasshoppa
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    I'm probably thinking wrong, but I just picture the stances. If your knees come too far out beyond your toes, then when you are pushing the weight back up, more stress lies around the shin/knee area.

    If your knees don't, then the stress of the weight gets placed a bit more on the calves. I dunno, that's just how I'm picturing it right now.
    Shao-LiN
    "I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter." - Linkin Park

  6. #5
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    i love physics problems! this is my theory, only a theory of a finance major with no *formal* physics or anatomy education.

    using full ROM on squats is ok, as long as shinbone is pretty much vertical. but let's assume that one puts his knees as far forward as possible and does full ROM, because it's always easier thinking about extremes when figuring physics out.

    in situation A: shinbone is vertical. when hips get to parallel and then pass parallel on descent, the force goes from pushing upper leg bone INTO knee, to pulling upper leg bone DOWN AND AWAY from knee, obviously taking away some force from certain parts of the knee and hips and giving it to different parts of the knees and hips. distribution of forces throughout the movement is good.

    in situation B: shine bone is way forward. this parallel point i just described is happening much later for the knee, so the knee has to experience the "INTO" force longer, and for larger ROM than in scenario A = not good for knee or hip. (hip is fine though, being that it is a hardcore joint)

    *** 1) there is a certain level of tension that the quad shoud NOT have when the knee joint is flexed closed farther than 90 degrees. this level of tension exists later and later in the kneejoint flex the further the knee goes forward. (leg extensions??) 2) also, the "INTO" force the knee feels should be minimized by keeping shin vertical as possible. ***

    with that as my main point, another detail comes into play. most people who do knees-far-forward are those who take narrow foot stance, which takes groin muscle out of play some, which increases force needed by quad, which pulls kneecap farther into knee joint *while not being pulled sideays by groin*, which increases force felt by kneecap and the rest of the knee. wide stance uses more leg muscles, spreading force farther out to the hips and equally pulling on kneecap = safer for knee.

    i think there might be a force i don't fully understand that is acting differently on the knee when there are different tensions on the calves, hams and shinbone muscle. this is probably minor, but anyone know? this would address the point about putting heels on a lift while squatting.

    the only thing i am not sure about is my point about level of tension of quad while knee joint is closed farther than 90 degrees. if this is truly detrimantal, then why don't people get injured all the time on leg extensions? i have no good answer, except maybe either most don't do full ROM on this exercise (which is probably true) , or the quad indeed is not working as hard because it's not SQUATS! OR, people really DO get injured from leg extensions. who knows.
    Last edited by Fuel; 10-27-2002 at 12:27 PM.
    Forget the six-pack for now and get BIG!

  7. #6
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    Good question Delphi. I don't have an answer though. I remember in HS powerlifting, we use to have this guy that squatted more than any of us, went to state finals 2 years as Junior and Senior, and most everyone freaked when he squatted because he knees would knock. I'm not talking about a little bit, he's knees look like they where gonna kiss each other as he was going up. At first our coach tried to correct his "problem" and he weights would always drop and he couldn't ever do it "right." Finally the coach gave in and just helped the guy work with his knocked knees.

    Point: I think it's probably a little different for everyone. If your knees go slightly over your ankles and your not having any problems, don't see any reason to stop?

  8. #7
    Wannabebig Member -supernatural-'s Avatar
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    Then dont lift your heels when squatting - drive from the heels instead.

    Potatos all of the time please, no salt.
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  9. #8
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    If his knees came together it sounds like he had weak inner thigh muscles (I forget the anatomy term. It's two words, one beginning with v and the other with m. Someone else can look that up ) The point is, that was bad form, and just because one doesn't have any problems now, doesn't mean that he will not have any problems five years from now or ten years from now, or even tomorrow. tuttut

  10. #9
    beercan
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    Adductors
    "I do declare; still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

  11. #10
    Toughest Man in the World Bruise Brubaker's Avatar
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    It's two words, one beginning with v and the other with m
    Vastus Medialis !

  12. #11
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    TY MM

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member
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    squatting in proper form your knees shouldn't come that far out anyhow.

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