Continue your 5-3-1 program or see the board for a supplemental strength workout. You can download the 5-3-1 Program spreadsheet here.
10 Rounds for time of:
Is this squat safe or unsafe? Or does it even matter since he’s not lifting any external load?
Why worry about form when we’re not lifting any weight?
Recently this picture was featured on CrossFit.com with the caption “If this position unladen is reasonably safe, are there detriments or benefits to training this way?”
As you all know, i am not a fan of squats that look like this. From day one I preach to every new client not only the importance of performing a squat and I place high value on performing a squat properly. However, I don’t always explain the why behind the what when it comes to proper form in a squat. This post is going to focus specifically on the air squat, however the basic principals can be applied to every movement we perform in the gym.
Initially, not everyone has the strength or flexibilty to perform a perfectly executed squat, but that does not mean that one should not be persued. The squat is the single most important movement we perform in the gym (that’s why we do it so much!). A properly executed squat is the only movement that trains hip drive. Hip drive is the complex movement the body goes through when the hips go from a bent position into a fully standing position. Wow, this sounds familiar! Basically everytime I sit and stand up I use hip drive, or at least I should be using hip drive. Also, anytime I take a step walking or running I am closing and opening the hip. Surely I can employ poor recruitment patterns outside of the gym as well, but we’ll get to this problem in a moment. Beyond hip drive, the squat is an excellent exercise for developing core strength, body awareness, flexibility in the hips, ankles, and back, leg and hip strength, and knee stability.
Here’s the catch, you don’t get all the benefits of a squat if you don’t do it right. Squats done in proper form and to full depth elicit the most results. Remember for the air squat that means maintaining a nuetral spine with rock solid midline stabilization, keeping the bulk of your weight in your heels, getting the crease of the hip below the top of the knee, and tracking the knees with the toes. If you have deficiencies in either strength or flexibility that inhibit your ability to attain this position you should be doing at least one mode of squat therapy daily. Squat therapies are the various stretches and exercises I teach you in the gym to improve your squat. To truely master the squat these need to performed daily – even if you don’t come into the gym that day.
In my opinion, bad form in the gym equates to poor movement outside of the gym. This means that even if you don’t get hurt in the gym while executing poor from, you set yourself up for injury outside of the gym. Chronic aches and pains in the back, knees, shoulders, etc. that inhibit your performance in life are forms of injuries. Additionally, you engrain these movement patterns into your muscle memory – good or bad. We’ve all seen the elderly person with the hunched back that has trouble looking up or even forward for that matter. This is the culmination of years of poor posture, a weak muscular system, and a sedintary lifestyle. My goal for you is to keep you fit and able for your entire lifetime, because hunched over and in pain just doesn’t seem like something to look forward too.
So what’s the moral of the story? If you truely care about your body and want to be the best you can be physically in and out of the gym – SQUAT RIGHT! If you can’t squat right persue it every day until you can. If you need help ask. See you in the gym!