This week we have a guest post brought to you from my boi Benjamin Fergus, a Chiropractor friend of mine, who sent me an incredibly comprehensive video on squat mechanics.
I first met Ben at a DNS course way back in the day, and he was a pretty sharp kid then. Having watched this video, I can see that his knowledge base has only grown.
In this spot, Ben goes over the mechanics of the bodyweight squat, and I think you folks will tremendously appreciate his explanation of what is occurring at the knee.
Once you’ve finished watching the video, check his stuff out at GRIP Approach. You won’t be mistaken.
The Knee’s Position in the Squat
This overview of the ‘Complex Movements of the Knee Complex’ is not intended to tell you the right way to squat, but rather to show what is happening with the anatomy during movement and why. It also will show you how to read/name the movements with observation from the side and front.
Here on earth gravity is king in a squat. We like to keep the line of gravity and center of mass (COM/COG) situated over the midfoot. All variations of the squat can be seen as unique attempts to move our mass closer to the ground while keeping the COM over the midfoot.
There are no rights or wrongs named in this video, just a look at the possibilities of joint motion. What does ‘ knee internal rotation’ mean? We’ll look at that terminology and study what that translates to at the hip, femur, and shin in this biomechanics breakdown.
Every week, my newsletter subscribers get links to some of the goodies that I’ve come across on the internets.
Here were the goodies that my peeps got their learn on from this past August.
If you want to get a copy of my weekend learning goodies every Friday, fill out the form below. That way you can brag to all your friends about the cool things you’ve learned over the weekend.
Biggest Lesson of the Month
Much of our successes and failures can be linked back to the habits we have. I noticed many times this past month that ineffective habits I had picked up were hampering my progress and productivity. One simple change (eliminating a to-do list, blocking out time to do things) was a complete game changer for me.
If you are doing something you don’t like, how do your habits keep you falling into that trap?
Quote of the Month
“Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Very much linked to the above lesson. We need quality to become automatic, and who better to illustrate this than an O.G. like Aristotle.
Hike of the Month
This was a tough decision to make on multiple fronts. This month I hiked four National Parks, saw a National Monument, and did all types of ill stuff.
Though Sequoia National Park will forever hold a dear place in my heart, Yosemite was hands down one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. The variety of terrain, the challenge of the 18+ miles I hiked, and the #views are hard to beat. I go back and forth on if I liked Yosemite or Zion better. But regardless, you should probably check it out.
I wish I had this podcast when I was first starting out. My boi Mike Robertson lists several high quality tips that young coaches should apply to get the most out of many things–internships, networking, life. These tips are really good for anyone to apply in any situation.
Doug Kechijian just continues to destroy the internet. In this article, he uses recent research on the hip thrust to critique a larger problem in science and performance–transfer-ability. Many times we argue about minutiae, when we really need to validate broader scope problems more effectively. Who better to discuss this issue than my buddy Douglas.
This past week’s quick hit goes into detail on how I coach landing mechanics, perhaps the most important piece to jumping safely and effectively. There are three keys to effective landing. What are those? Well, check out the vid.
There is a reason why Daddy-o pops is such a huge part of my life. Besides being an incredible human being, every time I listen to him I pick up something new. In this podcast Bill goes into detail on the importance of routines, and he gives a sneak preview of his new book (out September 15th), going into detail on the principles he employs to building fitness post-injury. Also, if you want his book, click here.
If you hurt, the thing to do is to stop all movement right?!? WRONG. A more prudent method is to find a different variation of a movement that gets the goal you want but doesn’t hurt. Here is an example
After I finished this article I was like “damn.” I think so many times as clinicians we chase pain relief for pain relief’s sake, without considering if the patient is truly suffering. I think about how many times I’ve been a part of the problem, even when trying to provide the solution. This one will definitely make you think.
Chris Kresser again with another gem (long road trips tend to have me consume a lot of info from one source). Here CK goes over many practical tips towards being an effective consumer and appraiser of the research. If you think research is tough to understand in rehab and performance, don’t even think about looking at nutrition. Yuck.
My two baby boys have grown up so fast! It is so refreshing to hear two well-respected physical therapists discuss expanding the PT scope into aggressive fitness. I love how both of these guys espouse not making injured people seem fragile, but always pushing intensity. The more you can expose someone to intensity, the easier return to performance becomes. We can’t just stop at success on the table.
This article was just absolutely awesome. In it the authors explain how nociception, both acute and chronic, impacts motor control both short and long term. They also sprinkle in some really cool things with the sympathetic nervous system and movement variability. These are all reasons why we cannot ignore nociceptive drive in chronic pain states.
If you are a PT, unattached, have a crap ton of student loans, and like adventures, you should strongly consider travel PT. Traveling makes it feel like you are on vacation the entire time you are on assignment, and it feels good to actually make a dent on student loans. Here are all your questions, answered.
For those of us who are coffee lovers; you are welcome. In this podcast my man Chris Kresser discusses all the amazing health benefits of drinking copious amounts of coffee. Wait until you here him compare the antioxidant values to some of those highly touted antioxidant fruits. #mindblown.
While we can often talk about how to time sleep, supplementation, and such with travel, one thing often not discussed is what equipment you should bring when you travel. Having the right stuff can make travel much less stressful. What stuff? Check out the vid to find out.
This podcast took me back to the days I was obsessed with poker. In this wonderful Tim Ferriss podcast, world class poker player Phil Hellmuth discusses many of the trial, tribulations, successes, and failures he has come across in his life. Many words of wisdom were had. Making my goal sheet now!
This blog really hit home for me. After getting let go from my NBA gig, I spent a great deal of time evaluating things I needed to change about myself. This is a hard conversation to have with yourself, but can often by life changing. Here Eric Cressey talks about his life changing conversation that made him the great coach that he is.
Ramit Sethi does an excellent job providing simple, yet effective financial device. I’ve been reading this book a bit slow, but applying every single lesson he’s recommended in each chapter with outstanding results. I was able to convince my credit card company to up my limit, give me 0% APR for a year, and doubled my interest rate on my savings account just by following these steps. Definitely a worthwhile read.
Tim Ferriss has really impressed upon me the importance of having a broad skillset. Mastery, or even competency, doesn’t take that long to achieve. A bit of focused study, and you will have most of what you need to be successful at your craft. This is why I am expanding my learning into areas such as sleep, nutrition, and more.
Incubus is one of my favorite rock bands, as I just love how diverse their sound is. And it seems like they rarely fail with their experiments.
This album goes a little back to some rock roots, and man does it have some heft to it. I trained to this when I first heard it, and I’m pretty sure my arm circumference increased by 3 inches…even though I was training legs!
Give “No Fun” and “Nimble Bastard” a listen
Which goodies did you find useful? Comment below and let me know what you think.
I had the honor and pleasure to write the foreword for this excellent book, which Bill has so graciously let me reprint.
You can read it below, and if it doesn’t inspire you to grab Bill’s new book, what will?
He had that shit-eating grin on his face. The type of smile you see when your parents found out something you didn’t want them to know. That smile you saw right before your untimely demise.
I knew damn well what that smile meant.
Back then I was Bill’s student. A quiet, shy, and uncertain kid. After doing a deal with the Mafia to find his email, offering up my future first born to learn from him, and signing a blood oath, I somehow convinced Bill to accept me as his physical therapy intern.
This was like meeting a rock star! Bill was all over Men’s Health magazine, T-Nation—the type of stuff young bucks like me were reading to get ahead of the curve. The last thing I wanted to do was let the guy down.
Then I overslept.
Stressed, frantic, and brushing only my front teeth, I made it to the clinic 30 minutes late. Only to be absolutely destroyed by that smile—a look that will forever be burned into my brain.
I apologized, he mildly scolded me, and we moved on.
Working with Bill was an amazing opportunity for me. Day-in and day-out I’d see him help individuals who were in pain—we are talking years of pain—become pain-free in a matter of moments. He was changing lives and helping people both return to both work and high level performance.
Whenever we had a lull, Bill would either grab his Lacrosse ball or do some type of mobility exercise. The guy was in pain, and was doing whatever he could to provide some relief.
After barely passing his clinical, I would periodically come back to visit Bill and see what he was up to. Each time I returned he had re-invented himself. Fine-tuned his process. Mastered his craft. Found better ways to reduce his client’s pain so they could get their lives back on track.
Yet he still hurt.
I’ll never forget that day I met Bill up at a continuing education course. It had been a little while since I last saw Bill, and I barely recognized the guy. He was lean. Like, really lean. I’m talking 6-pack abs, veins on veins, absolutely shredded lean. At 50-years old no doubt.
The coolest thing? He was in a lot less pain.
He rebuilt his body, reclaimed his health, and most importantly, restored control. Control for a time I’m sure he felt lost.
As incredible as Bill’s transformation was, I’ve continued to see him do this over and over and over again with clients who have been in pain.
Bill is simply one of the smartest and hardest-working individuals I know, and to see this continual evolution and drive to help people is inspiring. It is this drive that instilled greater confidence in my life, pushed me to write, fueled my discipline at continual self-improvement, and landed me an opportunity to work with the high performers in the NBA.
The fact that the man who I look up to more than anyone, the man who adopted me as his son, is asking me of all people to write a foreword for his book, is surreal. It feels like that moment in Star Wars where Obi Wan gave Luke his first lightsaber. Ready to carry the torch of the Jedi for the future.
Though let’s be real, I’d totally be turning to the Dark Side. Black is a much more slimming color.
Unlike Obi Wan, this Jedi master still has a lot of life left in him, and I am beyond excited for you to be learning how he helps people in pain stop surviving, and start thriving.
And there is no better time.
Chronic pain is a widespread epidemic. In the United States alone, 25.3 million adults suffer from daily pain, with 23.4 million reporting that pain as severe¹. This is a problem that costs the United States economy $635 billion dollars per year².
The things people do to become pain-free are numerous. Many times, these treatments are passive—massage, injections, icy hot, ultrasound, magnets—intending to provide some semblance of relief.
Too bad this stuff doesn’t work.
When comparing passive treatments to active approaches, such as exercise, there is no contest. Exercise wins, time after time³. Both aerobic exercise and weight training have been shown to help increase pain tolerance and brain function4,5. In fact, a lack of exercise may be the primary cause of most chronic diseases, as well as the cure6.
But how can I start exercising when I’m in agony just sitting here? How can I reap the benefits when my back hurts just looking at weights? You want me to walk for how long?!?
There exists no one better to answer these questions other than Bill Hartman.
If movement is the solution, then All Gain, No Pain is the guide.
In this book, you will find strategies to restructure your life in such a manner that reduces pain, improves fitness and health, and builds you to better withstand life’s stressors. Simply stated, you’ll be able to live the life you thought was once gone.
Bill has spent countless hours researching and experimenting with various methods; figuring out what methods work, and which one’s do not. He’s eliminated the unnecessary and ineffective strategies that many people try and fail with, while providing you strictly the essentials. The stuff that works.
His No Pain Principles will aid your quest in pain freedom, and his All Gain Principles will build the fitness necessary to keep persistent pain at bay. As for those movements that bother you in the gym? Bill has designed wonderful workarounds that can still drastically improve your fitness.
What makes this book different than the rest is that it comes from an author who has dealt with chronic pain himself. Bill understands the trials and tribulations you have and will go through. There simply is no better guide out there for your journey to rediscovering you.
And I must say, the strategies outlined in All Gain, No Pain flat-out work. As I was reading and editing this book, I adapted many of the principles myself. Over the course of three months, I dropped 25 pounds and was below 10% body fat for the first time in my life. Moreover, I’ve established rituals and habits that have increased my work output, energy levels, and overall satisfaction with life. You may have come to this book because you are in pain, but I promise you will leave with so much more.
If you stick with the principles, you’ll get results. You’ll look better, feel better, and move better. Most importantly, you’ll be you again. Not the old you. Not the you in pain.
But the best version of you.
Again, this book is an excellent read, regardless if you are in pain, wanting to perform at the highest level, or wish to understand stress.
Just in case you missed last night’s Movement Debrief Episode 18, here is a copy of the video and audio for your listening pleasure.
in this debrief, I was stumped!
Andrew from Facebook asked a phenomenal question on the biomechanics of the squat, which led to great discussion on what it means and takes to squat. Great contributions from Dani and Jonathan to the discussion.
Here were all the topics:
How I use research
Influences on full knee extension and flexion post-operatively
Changing perception of rehab post-total knee arthroplasty
The problems with chasing pain
Pain vs. suffering
What is squatting, what it means, and the biomechanicsIf you want to watch these live, add me on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. They air every Wednesday at 8:30pm CST.
It turns out the Hamptons isn’t just a place to live large.
It’s also a place where great learning can take place.
That is exactly what recently happened when me and my boizzz arranged a 1-day seminar with sprint coach extraordinaire, Derek Hansen.
For those who don’t know, Derek is one of the best sprint coaches in Canada, and had spent 10 years learning from THE Charlie Francis.
He is a wealth of knowledge in many areas, but the course focus was on all things sprinting, speed, acceleration, and periodization.
The setup we arranged was very unique. We watched Derek coach three different athletes on sprint mechanics, and watching the man work was quite remarkable. His ability to find the right cue, verbiage, and drill to attain improved sprint mechanics was remarkable. He is definitely an artist at his craft.
Point being, if you get a chance to hear the man speak, do so. You won’t regret it.
Without further ado, here are the notes.
[Note – I am not the best sprinter in the world, so bear with me on the videos]