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Bodyweight Stop Doing Squats?

Hung

Level 7 Valued Member
This guy credits working up to a 12 minute horse stance with PRs in running, cycling, sprinting, and vertical jump, increased leg endurance during hikes and improved lower body mobility.

What work for someone may or may not work for someone else I guess? I just saw a video about how rack pull increase deadlift on EliteFTS. The host of video is Steve Gogginss so we can assume he knows a thing or two about heavy deadlift. He advocates rack pull from above the knees - he said that give it time and it will build your back and overall strength. The thing is, many lifters have experience rack pull and many of them do not like it..some say it too much work for the back but doesn't transfer well to the deadlift...some say they still do rack pull but from below the knees.. between relatively similar movements (deadlift and rack pull) there's still many different kind of experience people had. So back to horse stance - can it increase squatting strength and sprinting or jumping? Of course it can, human body is complicated so there's always a chance that a certain exercise improve another thing...should you and I use horse stance to improve squat, jump or sprint? For me I would say no becausr it's too difference from the test movements - I would test about 10 others different exercise first before I touch that.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
So back to horse stance - can it increase squatting strength and sprinting or jumping? Of course it can, human body is complicated so there's always a chance that a certain exercise improve another thing...should you and I use horse stance to improve squat, jump or sprint? For me I would say no becausr it's too difference from the test movements - I would test about 10 others different exercise first before I touch that.

That's kind of what I was thinking. It's great that it worked so well for him. It might be worth trying if you have in interest in that kind of thing but there might be more efficient ways to get those results.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
This guy credits working up to a 12 minute horse stance with PRs in running, cycling, sprinting, and vertical jump, increased leg endurance during hikes and improved lower body mobility.

As @Hung was saying, it can be difficult to know how much progress to attribute to a particular exercise. I think the horse stance is a useful exercise. Do I think everyone has to do it? No. I've seen a couple videos from that guy. Did he keep all his other training the same while only increasing horse stance practice?

This is why, when you read studies, they will say things like (I'm making this up entirely) "eccentric-only training of the quadruceps muscle resulted in [x] change in muscle thickness, therefore, eccentric training may be a viable option to increase quadruceps size. More studies should be done to determine the effectiveness of eccentric training for other muscle groups."

It can be very hard to control all the factors outside of the thing you are trying to measure. If the author of that video (either one, really) really wanted to prove that horse stance did something other exercises didn't, they would control the other variables, and disclose that information. If someone is practicing horse stance, AND doing the jump variations I saw in the first few minutes of the original video, how do you know it was the horse stance and not the jumping that aided in squatting? In the k_boges video, how does he know it was horse stance and not added running and any other leg work he was doing that increased his PRs? If he took time off from running and jumping to focus on horse stance, then how does he know it wasn't the time away from those things that contributed to the PRs?

Now, does that mean training horse stance is a waste of time, or that he's making stuff up to get subscribers, etc? No. What I think should be taken away from this is that what information is presented should just be scrutinized a bit before taken as absolute "truth." K_boges also said in that video, "some gymnastics coaches use horse stance to acheive the splits." Maybe they use horse stance, but they also do a LOT of stretching and other exercises. The first person I saw using horse stance to aid in flexibility was Emmit Lewis, who is renowned for his flexibility coaching with handbalancers and circus athletes.

I also could do a 12 minute horse stance once upon a time. It is every bit as terrible as you can imagine. I still wouldn't use it to squat weight better though. See below:

So many people are already afraid to move and train, when really all they need is to start moving more in ways that feel good and then follow logical progressions to train safely.
This right here has been the philosophy I try to stick to for the last year or so, after trying all kinds of stuff and not making gains with strength or addressing issues I have with my body. Sometimes what everyone else is saying to do isn't what will be best for your body. Sometimes (imo, a lot of the time) it's best to find the things that make you feel better, and then increase your capacity to do those things at higher difficulties.
 

Dayz

Level 7 Valued Member
Serious question, what are the benefits of horse stance?

I just tried it and it feels pretty good, lol.
 

Jeff Roark

Level 6 Valued Member
I've said it before and I'll say it again, its amazing how some of us that started training in the 80s and back have managed to gained strength and muscle without all this clickbait wisdom. I'm not saying he is wrong or right, but these type of videos(and there is so many "don't do this or kill your gains" videos that its no wonder so many are crippled mentally before they even pick up a bar.

I don't stretch and I don't do mobility work but I do deep full range squats and full range of motion Stiff leg Deadlifts. These exercises provide me with enough mobility and flexibility to do anything that I'll ever need to do in my life. Its just not as difficult as some of these people make it seem to be, especially those with something to sell you.
 

Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
I've said it before and I'll say it again, its amazing how some of us that started training in the 80s and back have managed to gained strength and muscle without all this clickbait wisdom. I'm not saying he is wrong or right, but these type of videos(and there is so many "don't do this or kill your gains" videos that its no wonder so many are crippled mentally before they even pick up a bar.

I don't stretch and I don't do mobility work but I do deep full range squats and full range of motion Stiff leg Deadlifts. These exercises provide me with enough mobility and flexibility to do anything that I'll ever need to do in my life. Its just not as difficult as some of these people make it seem to be, especially those with something to sell you.
Do you have a full range squat and straight leg deadlift programme you can sell me Jeff?
:)
 

BillSteamshovel

Level 5 Valued Member
AM intrigued by the horse stance. Google doesnt help with this part of it.

Do I stand there with all my body tensed or loose ? ............. and ....... if tensed do I simply clench leg muscles or actively try to pull my ankles and knees towards eachother as hard as I can whilst screwing my feet into the ground ? ie is it full body tension like a hardstyle pushup ?
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
AM intrigued by the horse stance. Google doesnt help with this part of it.

Do I stand there with all my body tensed or loose ? ............. and ....... if tensed do I simply clench leg muscles or actively try to pull my ankles and knees towards eachother as hard as I can whilst screwing my feet into the ground ? ie is it full body tension like a hardstyle pushup ?
I'm sure you can find just as many interpretations of how to do a horse stance as you could a barbell squat, a pushup, or any other movement.

The way I learned and would do them is:
-feet are usually about double shoulder width. You want to be able to get your thighs to about parallel with the floor while having your shins remain verticle.
-You want to be pulling your thighs open like you are doing a side split. Its the same hip position as a seated straddle. The glutes should fire pretty good.
-Torso should be as upright as possible without excessive lumbar lordosis.

Some of that will depend on your mobility, but that's the position you want to head towards. If you can't get into it right away, just start where you're at and over time it'll get better.

If you're just holding it for shorter bouts (like under 1-2 minutes) you could try tensing everything up. Once you get into challenging endurance-hold times, all that it going to go out the window and you will probably just be hanging on until you're done. Just let the posture do the work at that point.

It's the combination of hip abduction and sinking to parallel that I think helps with side splits/pancake flexibility.
 

Jeff Roark

Level 6 Valued Member
Do you have a full range squat and straight leg deadlift programme you can sell me Jeff?
:)
yes sir, you have the complete program in the sentence. I'll be sending you my paypal account link. That will be $599, and since you acted now you will not receive any exclusive Patreon content!
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
First set of horse stance in 30 years:

2 minutes

Ended the set when the burn in the legs was just starting.

Moving arms as if I was doing one of my old kenpo katas helped.

I'm guessing I could get it up to 5 minutes in 6 weeks pretty easily if I worked on it.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Its just not as difficult as some of these people make it seem to be, especially those with something to sell you.
I’m a personal trainer and most of the time I want to say - look, work with me for a couple months, we’ll get a routine set up, you’ll learn the lifts, and then you can move forward without me and always come talk to me if you have questions.

Needless to say I'm not the best salesman...
 

3letterslong

Level 6 Valued Member
Ever since I listened to a podcast where Coach Sommers talked about how strong your legs need to be to land a leap that generates a force of 14x your bodyweight, I've been wondering why I haven't seen more people discuss that type of training. This guy and Steve Justa are the only people I've seen outside of gymnastics talk about it (and, let's face it, Steve Justa was kind of a mad genius who used anything that worked).
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
Ever since I listened to a podcast where Coach Sommers talked about how strong your legs need to be to land a leap that generates a force of 14x your bodyweight, I've been wondering why I haven't seen more people discuss that type of training. This guy and Steve Justa are the only people I've seen outside of gymnastics talk about it (and, let's face it, Steve Justa was kind of a mad genius who used anything that worked).

It's tough to scale.

And the injury potential of making people jump down from high places is high.

Nobody wants that kind of liability.
 

3letterslong

Level 6 Valued Member
It's tough to scale.

And the injury potential of making people jump down from high places is high.

Nobody wants that kind of liability.

Yeah, you're right. That's why Schroeder has his athletes do those crazy isometrics for months or years at a time to prepare them. And why I've only seen it used under the tutelage of coaches (I said gymnastics in that post, but I meant sports. I've seen plenty of athletes using depth drops, but only under certain conditions. Also, I once heard Fichter or Korfist -- I forget who -- say that depth drops are a powerful tool, but the kind of thing you can only use once. I've always been curious what that meant.)

No, I am not going to take the time to rewrite this post so it's less rambling.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Yeah, you're right. That's why Schroeder has his athletes do those crazy isometrics for months or years at a time to prepare them. And why I've only seen it used under the tutelage of coaches (I said gymnastics in that post, but I meant sports. I've seen plenty of athletes using depth drops, but only under certain conditions. Also, I once heard Fichter or Korfist -- I forget who -- say that depth drops are a powerful tool, but the kind of thing you can only use once. I've always been curious what that meant.)

No, I am not going to take the time to rewrite this post so it's less rambling.
All of these guys, DB Hammer included and to a lesser extent Thibadeau, etc... I'm not sure... I mean, yes, there's validity to a lot of things they do and say, but there's also a lot of "woo".
 

3letterslong

Level 6 Valued Member
All of these guys, DB Hammer included and to a lesser extent Thibadeau, etc... I'm not sure... I mean, yes, there's validity to a lot of things they do and say, but there's also a lot of "woo".

There's so much of a conflict between what the weightlifting world says and what the sports training world says that it leaves me dizzy trying to connect the two. As an example, something I've read several sports trainers write is that eccentrics don't cause DOMs: poor muscle patterning and muscle mechanics do. Meanwhile, in weightlifting circles it's just understood that eccentrics take a lot out of you.
 
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