Is there an updated "PTP"?

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Steve - "disagreement" and "fight" are not synonyms. Even if we grant that Mr. Cook was excluding the low bar back squat from his assertion, it's still incorrect. There's a profound effect on the diagnostic angles of the body between a front squat and a high bar back squat. The OP expressed a desire to squat and a skepticism about being able to do so safely. The video backed up his misapprehension that his knees were, by necessity, one of the joints that is "maxxed out" in the squat. Why leaving that stand unchallenged would be doing him a service I cannot say.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Steve - "disagreement" and "fight" are not synonyms.
That's why there was a smiley after I said that.

:)

There's a profound effect on the diagnostic angles of the body between a front squat and a high bar back squat
Bill, "profound" is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, there are differences, but to my eye, the pictures I've seen of Olympic lifters performing a high bar back squat both are pretty "maxxed out" in the knees and ankles, with the front squat obviously the most so. A powerlifter's low bar back squat doesn't do that.

-S-
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
If you don't like "profound" you can substitute "substantial". It doesn't help Mr. Cook's case any. Front squats produce more moment force about the knee than high-bar back squats

Doesn't it make more sense for people with knee concerns and zero Oly lifting ambition to abandon squatting azz to grass front and high-bar back squats instead of abandoning squatting?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Well, Bill, I agree that front squats produce more bend in the knee than high bar back squats and I said that. It's a continuum - front squat, high-bar back squat, low-bar back squat. For me, high-bar back squats are closer to front squats but I'm willing to place them in the middle. The difference is a matter of degree and I don't think it's important to this discussion. But as to your conclusion, no, I don't agree.

I think it makes sense for such people - and I'll include Jon (the OP) and me in this group - to treat the squat precisely _as_ a movement to go ATG on, just not with a big load. And we'll save the big load for the deadlift.

Squatting is a movement pattern I want in all its full ROM glory. I barbell front squat, but I just don't barbell front squat _heavy_. And I do kettlebell goblet and front squats and, again here, ATG but not heavy. A lot of old, worn-out knees not only can _tolerate_ ATG squats, they will _benefit_ from light ATG squats.

Put another way, I don't think I want a rule that says avoid movement patterns you can't safely load heavy - keep the movement pattern in your life, keep the load light, and load heavy those movements patterns you can safely load heavy and build your strength that way.

-S-
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Everyone looking to be healthy should strive for a ATG squat with good form WITHOUT external weight. You should be able to do ATG squats without weight!
There are a lot of people out there who tell you that you have to be able to back squat with a bar or otherwise somethings wrong with you (your flexibility, mobility or whatever), but it's just not true. Some people are not made to squat WITH a weight. I just wanted to point that out.

@Jon
I'd recommend getting a copy of Mass Made Simple by Dan John. In it there's a "squat school" designed to make you able to back squat safely. Go trough that and be really honest to yourself. It can take some time to get the movement down. After that work on back squats again. I promise you that your form will have improved a lot. If you still feel discomfort squats might just not be for you and you should follow Steve's advice and keep them light.
Or maybe you should look for squat variants that feel good.
Too reach an ok depth in back squats (high & low bar) i need to go ultra wide, because i have very long femurs. This stance feels extreme unnatural and i really don't think it's something that you should do everytime you squat. I played around with front squats which felt much better, but i still had to go very wide. Then i discovered zercher squats. With zerchers i can go ATG with a stance just a little bit outside of shoulder width, no knee problems, no back problems, they just feel good.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@Kettlebelephant I agree that everyone ought to be able to squat. The goblet squat is great because, even if you can't squat without a weight, sometimes a counterbalance is all you need. And if that doesn't do it, then squat holding onto something like the uprights of a power rack. But get down there, somehow. And heavy squats just aren't going to be for everyone unless you have to them, e.g., I've done them when I decided to compete in a three-lift PL meet.

In my case, I couldn't tell you why, but I enjoy squatting deep and I don't enjoy going heavy and having to stay really tight at the bottom. I'd rather get into a deep squat and pry, relax, and eventually repressurize and come back up. It just plain feels good, it's a great stretch for one's pelvic floor, a great stretch for the lower back in a lengthening kind of way, it's good dorsiflexion practice, and I'm sure we could add to that list.

-S-
 
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