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Thread: Squat as a unit

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    Default Squat as a unit

    Everyone here knows by now that I do not like giving advice on how or how not to squat. Unless that line of power/the center of gravity where the bar is in straight line with the mid of your foot is violated, I'd keep my mouth shut.

    So what's with this squat as a unit thing? We're always bombarded (to my disliking) with instructions and more instructions on how to squat. If that was not enough, we're reminded to move this or that body part first, and let the other parts follow suite, for that perfect lift. I'm against that. I'd much rather have the lifter free his mind and think of nothing at all except as to move as one whole unit; one whole solid unit. You know that feeling you sometimes get when you wear a belt, how it makes you feel like you've just become one whole, that's what I'm talking about (without having to wear a belt if you don't have to).

    I genuinely feel that the more you think about your lift and how you ought to execute it, the more chances you'd create for yourself to screw it up. I've used this example before and here it is again: a martial artist who is one with his body, does not even think before he strikes, does he? I think not, for to do so, he'd be flat on his ass from been struck first. Similarly, the more chances you allow for yourself to "think", the more trouble you create for yourself.

    Time to clarify. Some may wish to object that we need, we must think. To that I say go ahead and think of all that you like and all that you fancy...., but not once you've made contact with that bar. Imagine you were an Olympic weightlifter who has just walked out onto the platform for your 1st lift..., with 30 seconds remaining on the clock (before you attempt your lift). You want to think? What would you be thinking about exactly? If your limbs have not learnt to move on automatic by now, you'd be thinking way passed that 30 seconds and you can kiss your lifting career goodbye.

    So unless you're a beginner, I'd suggest you allow yourself to fly on autopilot; it's about time you've built enough total trust with its capabilities, so set yourself free and go for it!
    Last edited by Fadi; 29-02-2016 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Changed being to been.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.





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    Unfortunately, many newbies do not know how to move their body as a unit, so they do need relatively detailed instruction.

    I was always puzzled by weightlifting coaches who'd tell me it takes about two years to learn to snatch properly, but when they coached the squat, said, "Well, just go down and up."
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    You feeling enlightened with all your squatting Fadi.

    great to see.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron View Post
    Unfortunately, many newbies do not know how to move their body as a unit, so they do need relatively detailed instruction.

    I was always puzzled by weightlifting coaches who'd tell me it takes about two years to learn to snatch properly, but when they coached the squat, said, "Well, just go down and up."
    Hi Kyle,

    I did say that if you are a beginner, then (and only then) you do need to think about what you're doing with squats.

    And yes I'm in full agreement with the weightlifting coaches here, as there's really no comparison to be made between a snatch, (which incidentally is the most technical lift out of all lifts in the sport of Olympic weightlifting), and a squat..., which everyone knew perfectly well, and how to execute perfectly without as much as given it the slightest of thoughts.

    Kids (and I know you're a dad like I am), are not taught how to squat, but I'm certain they'd need plenty of training and practice to become proficient in the execution of a snatch lift. Let's not complicate what is a natural yet a forgotten movement of all human beings; the squat.
    Last edited by Fadi; 29-02-2016 at 04:27 PM.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.


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    So technical a toddler and a 6yo can do it.

    "This thing I think is important is really complicated. This other less important thing is really simple." Or maybe, it's neither, it's just difficult enough that you do actually need a method, but not so difficult that, given a method of some sort, you can't get just about anyone to do it alright pretty quickly.

    Unfortunately, weightlifting coaching theory comes from places where they start them at 12yo, and have them 5-6 days a week for 10 years. You don't need any real coaching method to do this. If you have some vague picture in your head of what a movement should look like, and spend enough time with that person, you'll eventually get them doing it right. The question is, what's optimal? Give me a bunch of non-disabled 12 year olds who come 5 days a week for 10 years, and I'll give you national champions in weightlifting. This would not mean I could take those methods and apply them to a bunch of sedentary adults and get them moving well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron View Post
    So technical a toddler and a 6yo can do it.
    Perfect..., how much easier the squat is then!

    Not sure why you've chosen to ignore the distinction I made earlier between a squat beginner and one who is not..., the one who is not was what this whole thread was about. Now if you feel that you have to really instruct a beginner how to squat in good form, then great, but let's move on from that beginner stage once we've got a handle on thing. That's what I've been saying basically.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.


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    Crickey you two write a lot without saying anything.
    are you both talking about a full squat?
    if so, you can either do it well or not, coaching will make an iota of diff.

    and stop using the silly infant squat better than an adult it's moot.
    the biomechanics change as we age, nothing to do with losing the skill.


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    Well, the heavier the weight gets the more attention you got to pay to the minor details in form and execution. You can play with a 12kg snatch all you like without thinking very much at all. Add a 0 to that though and its straight to rehabville if anything is out of joint.
    I've noticed that some coaches have moved beyond instructing the good 'ol hip drive method taught by Ripptoe and added the cue 'throw the weight off your shoulders' (Chad Smith, Ed Coan) which is a cuecentric way of saying the same thing of moving the body as one bro unit.
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    Yep, I gotta say that I certainly need to be mindful of my Squat technique due to the fact that other activities build "muscle habits" that are totally opposite to proper Squatting.

    I have a constant tendency to get onto my Toes due to a lot of Boxing, Martial Arts and Skipping. If I didn't concentrate on keeping on the Heels when Squatting I'd be fooked.


    Then theres the kunce who only Quarter Squat or do Good Mornings when Squatting. They certainly need to be told (or taught) how to Squat.


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    Most people can't squat "naturally"
    Takes a lot of time to get good movement
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