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Squats: Abducted and parallel stance?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Is it necessary (for skiing purposes) to do squats both parallel and abducted?

 

I can only ATG ("at the ground," "a** to grass,", etc) squat when both feet are out 45 degrees.  I can do a lot of weight this way.  But then parallel feel compressed, I can't go down to 90 degrees, and its tougher.  It seems though this mimics the way the legs are tracking when in a ski boot.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

Is it necessary (for skiing purposes) to do squats both parallel and abducted?

 

I can only ATG ("at the ground," "a** to grass,", etc) squat when both feet are out 45 degrees.  I can do a lot of weight this way.  But then parallel feel compressed, I can't go down to 90 degrees, and its tougher.  It seems though this mimics the way the legs are tracking when in a ski boot.

Textbook form should have feet slightly externally rotated, it is also safer for your knees. If you want to mimic more of a skiing movement, I'd suggest squatting parallel on unstable surfaces (BOSU, Stability ball, foam mats, etc)

If your legs are really big it could also be that at parallel they "get in the way". How does it feel if you squat without any/or light weight?

post #3 of 6
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

Is it necessary (for skiing purposes) to do squats both parallel and abducted?

 

I can only ATG ("at the ground," "a** to grass,", etc) squat when both feet are out 45 degrees.  I can do a lot of weight this way.  But then parallel feel compressed, I can't go down to 90 degrees, and its tougher.  It seems though this mimics the way the legs are tracking when in a ski boot.

 

I think feet parallel is not necessary, but 45 degrees out is too much, and if you can't get below 90 with a more appropriate squat stance, there's probably either a structural or functional limitation. Maybe both.

 

How wide is your stance? If it's 45 degrees, I'd guess pretty wide?

 

A good way to guess how wide your feet should be is to do 3 quick jumps on the spot. Where you land is usually a good approximation of your squat stance. Feet turned out 10-15 degrees is usually a good number (although there are exceptions).

 

If you can't squat below 90 in this position - and many can't - odds are the problem is a limitation in one or more of:

- ankle mobility

- hip mobility

- thoracic spine mobility

- back stability

- core stability

- glute and leg strength

 

In other words - there's a lot going on in a squat! And many of the things that need to work well for a squat to work well are the very same things that get jammed up from sitting at a desk all day. Now one clarification - I don't think everyone needs to (or even should) squat ATG; but I do think everyone should be able to get their hips below their knees. If you can't then I would suggest you rethink loading the squat.

 

I like to have clients work up to squatting using Goblet squats - the positioning of the weight can really help force a proper upper body posture while also encouraging the ability of the hips to "drop into the hole". One word of caution - if you do this and find you get a pinching feeling in your hips/groin, then you may be one of the 10-15% of the population who has hip impingement. If that's the case, deep squats should probably be avoided. It may also be a functional issue rather than a biomechanical one, but figuring out which one it is can be tricky. If you spend a few weeks working on hip mobility, glute activation, and core stability, and that fixes the pinching then it was probably functional; if it doesn't, it was probably biomechanical and you should think about an alternative to the squat. 

 

Here's a great tutorial about goblet squats from the man who came up with them: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/goblet_squats_101. (apologies that it's a link to tnation - great articles on that site but lots of silly pictures).

 

Elsbeth

post #5 of 6

Elsbeth,

 

Thank you that was very good info.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Evaino, thanks much for your post.

 

Next time at the gym I'll call up your post, answer some of the questions (so to speak), and get back to you.

 

Yeah, my glutes feel weak (beyond weak; they feel idle and jelly-like).

 

No, I don't do wide stance squats.  I try to keep it shoulder width (which is much narrower than one might think).  However, I do fan out my feet.

 

If I load up 225 lbs, and have a parallel stance, the weight forces me down to parallel, and I can squat back up.  It feels mechanically restricted, not weak.

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