This won’t make you strong…but it likely won’t damage you either.
Bigg has told me that this article is in regards to air squats only. W!T!Fukkkkkkkk! I didn’t even make it that far. However; in fairness to this particular dipshit writing on the internet: putting your back into flexion. No.
Post could have ended there.
This article is making it’s rounds on The Facebook among the Highland Games group. It’s written by a physical therapist, apparent immediately when number one is about Ankle Mobility. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. I simply commented “no” on a friend’s FB page and he asked me to go on. So here ya go par’tner (he’s Texan, that’s how they talk down thare.)
First off, the internet meme mythos that children (toddlers usually) have the perfect squat form, even when loaded with a 2# pvc “barbell” is so deliciously representative of the “Oooooo that’s cool but I don’t wanna think if it’s correct so I’ll just agree” world we live in now that it I wonder if anyone ever thinks anything through anymore. Children, healthy children, plop down like this:
Because they see cool shit on the ground and want to pick it up and put it in their mouth. So they do so and their levers are such that it oftentimes looks like the above picture. Cuz they’re little people, growing. Which means, hopefully if you feed them lots of tasty beast food, that they’ll KEEP growing and those nearly perfectly even levers will morph into an adult body where by now we’ve learned not to pick shit up off the floor and put it in our mouth. But mostly, this is a toddler in an UNLOADED situation. Which makes the entire argument invalid because we’re talking about squatting loaded. With a barbell. Not even remotely the same. Move on.
And then comes the Asian argument. Well, Asians sit that way so we should too. At the surface, again, they are UNLOADED. We are talking about a barbell squat. We should move on. But you know me, that doesn’t happen often. Using an entire culture of people who MAY sit like this at times because they are living in an undeveloped part of the world or in poverty and saying “See! That’s how they sit all day long and they’re strong and healthy” is, at best, misinformed. It’s like saying “Asians eat all that soy and look at how heart healthy THEY are!” No, they don’t. They eat some soy seasoning and tofu here and there but mostly they eat meat (yes, fish is meat. If you are a vegetarian/vegan and eat fish…you’re a bad one. It’s meat.) And to say “us Westerners” have fucked up our bodies by wearing shoes and sitting on chairs has absolutely no scientific foundation in the entire world of life. You’re wearing a track jacket and jeans in your pictures. Shouldn’t you be naked while sitting on pillows if you adhere to the rubbish you write? And actually, ALL the Asians I know sit in chairs…and eat a crap ton of meat. And they’re doing just fine. They wear shoes too. There were some Asians in Hawaii who fit the model the author is speaking of. They were the most destitute homeless people I’ve ever seen in my life and it broke my heart.
Anyways. Now we can actually address the arguments of the article.
1. Ankle Mobility. You know who worries about ankle mobility? Physical therapists. You know what severely affects ankle mobility? Birth defects or serious injuries. And many of those injuries that are aggressively rehabbed are just fine. Our neighbor had his foot 98% severed in a construction accident four years ago. They finally took his foot last fall (I think it was last fall, time blurs.) He was showing me the new foot he ordered off E-Bay one time saying how much better it felt from his first one. He now has a new and improved on and when I asked him about “mobility” he says, “I don’t know anything about that. I walk 10 miles a day, get up fine off the floor or off the toilet and don’t worry about my foot any more.” Ankle mobility or lack thereof is a mute point. Watch an old person get up off the chair. They dig their heels into the ground and push up because they know if they pulled their heels up, they’d fall over. If you have someone who squats and pulls their heels up, it has nothing to do with mobility. It has everything to do with you being a shitty coach and now knowing how to fix it.
2. Back pain. First off, when writing an article and pulling in past articles written by YOU, I’m on notice that you listen to you and not many others. This entire paragraph is mechanically incorrect. If you don’t lock your back in extension in a squat, you run the risk of putting it into flexion (use your words Jimmy.) We DON’T want our back in flexion when loaded. Duh. He says that when you do a full depth squat, your pelvis rotates backwards. Uhhhhh, no it don’t. Not even close. The beauty of this little paragraph is it’s finish:
The body’s position in a deep squat also produces a traction effect that decompresses the spine by creating space between the individual segments of the back.
Uhhhhhh, dude, do you even Science? You have a loaded bar on your back and your spine is in COMPRESSION! There are no individual segments of the back unless you are completely fucked and someone has taken a baseball bat to your back when you are in the middle of a PR attempt. At this point, I have to ask myself if people even read this?
3. Yes, we need to get our knees out when we squat. But squatting high; just below parallel; or ass to grass doesn’t automatically get your knees out. Good coaching does (I see a reoccurring theme here actually.) Duh.
4. If you want to strengthen your glutes (who doesn’t??), why would you load them with maximal weights and squat all the way to the bottom of the world forcing your body to loosen said glutes in order to get there and THEN decide you wanted to get back up so you’ll just tighten up on the way when you get to a position where you actually can do that. All you’ve done is put your body at risk by having a loaded bar pushing you into the earth and loosening everything up because you choose to listen to a physical therapist instead of a strength coach. And oh by the way? How’s your knee’s?
5. Posture correction, with visuals. Look at the visuals. Do you even need to read further? You do? Then you have a bad coach. Get a better coach. But stop listening to this guy. He’s not a better coach.
There is not one mechanically sound argument in this entire article. But it is highly representative of the shit out there. So if you want to listen to it, by all means, go ahead.
To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.