Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues
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).