Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Interim Leg Exercises While Working on Squat Form

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    • #70849
      AvatarNicholas Sadowski

      I cannot perform the MWOD/BASL-approved squat currently.  I had been putting all weightlifting on hold until I could resolve this, but I don’t think I can do that anymore, since it is taking me a while to fix my squat.  I am working on mobility exercises to get me there.  Can anyone recommend some good loaded, barbell leg exercises I can do in the mean time?  For example – is it OK just to do deadlift instead of squat until I fix my squat?

      Maybe a more general question – what does the squat form progression normally look like for a novice MWODer?  How long does it usually take someone to fix their form?  What does a workout look like for someone who is working on their squat form?
    • #74332
      AvatarNathan Richer

      my fave site for some good progressions is gymnasticswod:

      as for exercises, DL is a great one, but i think you can also just squat to the depth at which your form breaks down.  don’t worry about depth, but only things like proper spinal alignment and the butt wink. 

      fixing can take an agonizingly long time if there are restricions that have been around for a long time. fixes may take a few days up to many months.  be diligent and consistent – try to work on something every day and you’ll get results faster.
    • #74337

      Well said David.  I was going to recommend those progression videos as well – they’re my personal favorite.

    • #74339
      AvatarNathan Richer

      I also discovered California Strength – some really great videos on their site and youtube channel.  Check out this squat video:

    • #74340
      AvatarNicholas Sadowski

      Thanks for the great links, David! I’m definitely going to follow those gymnastics wod videos.

      I will say I’ve heard bad things about squatting above proper depth. I’ve heard if you don’t reach a certain depth, you won’t properly load your posterior chain, leaving most of the tension in your quads – this is supposedly bad because it creates uneven tension in the tendons around your knee. Can you comment on that?

      Also – it looks like that California Strength video isn’t really “MWOD kosher” in terms of foot, knee, and head placement. (feet rotated out too far, knees not out far enough, head looking forward)

    • #74341
      AvatarNathan Richer
      re: depth
      the main reason for recommending that was so that you could continue squatting as you worked on mobility. however, i’ve heard proper depth is at least to horizontal/90 deg, or at least just below it and that’s good enough. can you make that depth with good back form and no butt wink?  
      perhaps i interpreted incorrectly but i was guessing that you were trying for the deep squat with barbell which is where additional mobility work is typically needed.
      here is a discussion on posterior chain and the squat in this article:

      in all the stuff i’ve read – it seems that you need both quads and posterior chain to really perform a squat properly in any situation. if you’re above horiz, you’ll still need both your quads and glutes/hams to straighten up. that doesn’t mean you may not have a poor movement pattern – for example, most people have glute activation problems and are quad dominant, and thus overwork their quads in every lift (and prob hate the DL because of that!)
      re: Calif Strength video – i love the site, and the videos i really like are the snatch and clean progressions. unfortunately there is only one squat video there.
      they are a classic training shop for oly lifting it seems. the snatch and clean progressions were the ones they taught us at CF Level 1 training.  i wish they did a squat progression.
      yes MWOD wants to drive for straight feet. but the reality is that most oly lifters angle their toes out a few degrees – and remember, they also wear non-flat shoes – to give them a bit more advantage over their natural mobility for making a huge lift.  even Kstarr will say that a few degrees out is still OK, even if straight feet generates the most torque. but if you go too far out then all that torque disappears.
      i looked at the video again and i think his shins are vertical and thus his knees are in the right place. i am not exactly sure on his pelvis vs. femur capability so it is entirely possible that he could squat and not butt wink with his feet at that width. (jealous!) if that is so, then his knees will also be closer together than what you might see with people who squat in the MWOD style.
      the head is one i’m not gonna touch- i think if you go on t-nation you’ll find some good discussion on proper head position for squat and it could vary on preference or style, and if the weight is heavy you may find the head looking up to help keep you back in the right shape.
    • #74350
      Avatar[email protected]

      Air squat progression 1, my heels are coming up off the ground.  Is he saying doing that movement a bunch of times will help me get my heels not move off the ground or should I be addressing that with other solutions.

    • #74352
      AvatarNathan Richer

      i dont think it is conclusive from the video what he thinks on how to get and keep the heels down.  i would think you’d want to apply a number of tools and methods to get your heels down, in that lowest position of the progression.

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