Mastering the squat.
I’m a 1RM 300pound squatter, meaning that i have once squatted 300pounds on my back for one rep, that record is about 6 months old now, and currently i’m hovering around 265/275ish, which is a respectable weight, but compared to Rich Froning (http://games.crossfit.com/athlete/11435) who weighs about the same as me and is the same height, his is 445lbs.
So, i’ve obviously got a bit of a way to go before i start thinking about the Reebok Crossfit Games then!
The squat accounts for something like 50% of all movements in crossfit, by this i mean that 50% of all crossfit movements involve the squat in some capacity, so as far as movements to learn are concerned the squat is an essential movement to master to progress in Crossfit.
There are two basic ways to squat - high bar and low bar.
High bar is where the bar sits on your traps (the middle diagram in the picture) - it gives you a more vertical position and your butt gets lower to the ground, your shins also end up less vertical and your knees can end up forward of your toes (looking from top down), its more transferable to crossfit movements such as the wallball and oly lifting and so this is something i’ve been trying to focus more time on improving.
the Lowbar is a ‘classic’ squat that you see powerlifters perform, the bar sits lower on the back and you effectively “push the butt back” attempting to prevent the knees from moving forwards of the toes (from a top down view), this is how i used to squat, but it actually puts a significant pressure on your lower back.
when i started squatting for crossfit, i got confused between the two squats, and its something my back hasn’t forgiven me for - note to self, don’t move in a low-bar fashion when the bar is in a high-bar position- thats a recipe for lower back pain.
so, to prevent you from making the same mistake here are videos of the movements -
regardless of the kind of squat you do , check -
-Heels make constant contact with the ground?
-Knees track outwards on ascent/decent?
-Weight distribution on outsides of feet?
-Neutral and primarily vertical thoracic spine?