All About Squats – Movement Debrief Episode 112

Movement Debrief Episode 112 is in the books. Below is a copy of the video for your viewing pleasure, and audio if you can’t stand looking at me. Here is the setlist:

  • What are the biomechanical differences between a squat and a hinge?
  • Would squatting not increase anterior pelvic tilt and hip flexor strength?
  • Does squatting put too much shear force through the knee?
  • Does ramp squatting put too much shear force through the knee?
  • Is there such a thing as a “normal” infrasternal angle?
  • Why does a hip shift occur in a squat?
  • What are some strategies for reducing a hip shift in a squat?
  • How do the following squat variations impact thoracic expansion: Goblet, Zercher, front, and back?

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and the audio version:  

Zac Cupples iTunes

Show notes

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Analysis of the Load on the Knee Joint and Vertebral Column with Changes in Squatting Depth and Weight Load

Deep Squats and Knee Health: A Scientific Review

Biomechanical modeling of deep squatting: effects of the interface contact between posterior thigh and shank

If you want to teach the “stack,” the sideyling tilt is a great choice

I also like performing low sit activities to encourage the bottom of the squat position

And of course, don’t forget to work on squatting with this move

A hip shift is a great activity to improve the shifting skills of a squat

You can also do a front foot elevated split squat and throw a shift in there

Here is a debrief that goes in-depth on where certain reaches can expand the thorax

Motion of the shoulder complex during multiplanar humeral elevation

The difference between a squat and hinge 

Greetings Fam! I’m curious to see you model the differences between the Squat and Hinge, similar to how you modeled the respiratory mechanics in the Human Matrix Fundamentals. Bless up!

Does squatting make anterior pelvic tilt worse? 

Anterior pelvic tilt (APT) is a result of a tug of war at the pelvis – on the anterior hip flexors beating internal obliques and on the posterior spinal erectors beating hamstrings/glutes. Could focusing on a squatty squat bias strengthening the hip flexors (not the hamstrings) thus exacerbating the APT?

Is squatting bad for the knees? 

I’ve had a couple people tell me that it heals elevated squat puts more shearing load on the knees and I’m wondering if this is only in reference to if the bar is on the back or if it’s a front squat or how I can navigate the conversation around bypassing the ankle joint?

Is there a “normal” infrasternal angle (ISA)? 

Is the goal for someone with a wide infrasternal angle to eventually get a “normal” angle when relaxed?

Hip shifts in the squat 

Hip shift in the squat. Most everybody seems to talk about it as a neuromuscular thing. Do you have a take/is there already a deep dive I couldn’t find?

Which squat variation should be used? 

I am wondering about using the Zercher squat preferentially compared to the back squat and for prep for the front squat, for peeps who have trouble inhaling into their backs, and specifically the upper backs.  

Sum Up

  • A squat involves vertical pelvic displacement and sacral counternutation. Whereas a hinge involves posterior pelvic displacement and sacral nutation
  • Because counternutation creates a posterior pelvic tilt, squatting can improve anterior pelvic tilt
  • Squatting below 90 degrees of knee flexion reduces shear and compressive forces on the knees.
  • Infrasternal angles are genetically determined. The goal is to make them dynamic.
  • Hip shifts in a squat are a result of pelvic rotation and inability to bilaterally counternutate the sacrum. They can be improved by increasing squat depth and using drills to shift the other direction
  • Squat holds that have the bar less than 60 degrees of shoulder flexion are best for upper back expansion. 60-120 degrees of shoulder flexion are best for anterior expansion. Back squats are the most compressive of the upper thorax

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash