Strong people who don't squat?

Discussion in 'Other' started by Anth, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Anth

    Anth Double-Digit Post Count


    Are you strong? Do you not squat? What's your story?

    I'm asking because I think I'm done squatting.

    Here's my story: I have old knee problems: ACL surgery, meniscus issues and surgeries. Every time I squat, my knee feels crunchy and off the next day, even if it's 3x5 goblet squats with the 16 before an S&S workout.

    I'm 39, former juco soccer player, train boxing and Muay Thai, some BJJ, do S&S, loaded carries, some double KB work (I wouldn't consider myself properly strong yet, but I'm getting close to Simple). TGU's make my knee feel strong, squats make me feel like an old man, so I think there's no need for me to do them. There's no benefit for me (I'm not trying to be outrageously strong or powerlift or anything).

    S&S and some other exercies suppliment my marital arts training and have made me feel a lot stronger. I can punch pretty hard, I can kick pretty hard and pretty high. I have great flexibility. I just don't think I need to squat for anything.

    That's my story, and I'm interested to hear from others who are strong (stronger than me) who do not squat. What do you do instead? Do you miss squating? Are there any major drawbacks?

    Bret S. and Rob67 like this.
  2. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    @Rif (Mark Reifkind) comes to mind.
    Rif likes this.
  3. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    I guess it comes around to (like it always does...) what definition of strong you are using.
    I know people who can do one arm pull-ups. (Even know a guy who can do a two finger pull-up) Are they strong? I guess... maybe a bit. Do they squat? Nope.
    Kiacek and Glen like this.
  4. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    I've got no doubt about the value of the squat but I've never got into it. I just don't enjoy it. So have opted for deadlift and leg press instead. That meaning I sometimes deadlift and always leg press. In my view the leg press is very under-rated and provides a solid foundation of lower body strength and muscle while being kinder on the knees, hips and shoulders but I accept that the squat provides superior results. I guess it depends on whether you want acceptable or optimal
    william bad butt likes this.
  5. adam80

    adam80 Triple-Digit Post Count

    I haven't squat as much as I used to because it tightens my right side hip and I need to constantly stretch and roll. If I could barbell back squat without this issue I would because I always felt stronger, but at this time I'll take being pain free over being strong. I just started using the trap bar deadlift again for lower body strength and although it's technically not a squat it should do the job for me.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @Anth, try to find a squat you can do but, as we’ve said here before, everyone should squat if they can, but not everyone needs to load their squat with weight.

    rickyw, kiwipete and Pavel Macek like this.
  7. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Anth are you doing the goblet squats in S&S?
  8. Anth

    Anth Double-Digit Post Count

    I probably could do bodyweight squats at the end of my workout. Or maybe grease the groove with them.
    Steve A likes this.
  9. Anth

    Anth Double-Digit Post Count

    Yes. I like them, but they hurt my knee like all the others.
  10. william bad butt

    william bad butt More than 300 posts

    @Anth , what about a low bat, hip dominant, powerlifting style squat? That should be a lot easier on the knees.

    Or, a proper Good Morning with some slight knee flexion may be an option.
  11. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    That's a pity. It's not a matter of load but movement then?

    I wouldn't mind not being able to do heavy squats, but I would try to recover the capacity of doing the movement at least. Like the goblet squat. I feel a lot better since I can squat to the bottom.
  12. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    I would like to see video of both a bw squat and a goblet squat.

    fractal likes this.
  13. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    Can you do rocking and crawling without that odd old man feeling?
  14. Anth

    Anth Double-Digit Post Count

    Here’s a video of me doing both. The body weight feels pretty good actually. I grabbed a really light bell for the goblet and even that felt suspect. I should add that I’ve had 2/3 of my meniscus removed on my left leg.

  15. Hasbro

    Hasbro Triple-Digit Post Count

    The following is an excerpt by Pavel from Enter the Kettlebell. I’ve had that book for nearly 10 years and I swear I learn something every time I pick it up.

    Now why a pull rather than a squat? Big pulls—kettlebell swings and snatches, barbell dead lifts, Olympic pulls—will not replace squats if you are after huge legs or you compete in PL or WL. But if you are not, they rule.

    Eddie “the Green Ghost” pulls rather than squats because his knees are “plastic,” as he puts it. Unlike squats, even very heavy pulls rarely irritate the knees.

    Ken Shamrock of UFC fame pulls rather than squats because a fighter has no need for heavier legs. Pulls strengthen the legs and hips without overdeveloping them.

    Do not interpret the above as a statement that squats hurt your knees. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, properly done squats are great for the knees. “Does this dress make my butt look big?” a woman asks her husband. “No, honey, your butt makes your butt look big.” On the same note, Dan John has nailed the truth about squatting: “Squatting does not hurt your knees, the way YOU squat hurts your knees.”

    Squat—if you are taught how to do it properly and if it is consistent with your goals. We teach the front squat at the RKC instructor certification course. But the foundation of the RKC system will always be the Big Pull.

    Of course if you’ve got an injury or previous injury and squatting (with proper form) causes you pain then I simply would not squat. I would say to the OP that your form looks good to me so I would ditch the squats. You can definitely be a strongman without them.
  16. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @Anth, your bodyweight squat has a good camera angle, not so much the head-on angle of the goblet squat.

    Your bw squat starts with an inward curve of your lower back which straightens and then slightly rounds as you lower. This isn't the recommended method. Instead, pressurize at the top and find what a neutral, braced, strong midsection feels like, then keep that all the way down. Switch to inhaling at the top rather than inhaling on the way down.

    Your knees come forward an acceptable amount so long as that doesn't bother them on the bw-only squat.

    The advantage of the kettlebell in the goblet squat is that it functions as a counterbalance, allowing your to keep both your shins and your back more vertical. Go for something heavier than what you used, but understand that no goblet squat weight is actually heavy, it's just a counterbalance. If you want a heavy squat, choose another version of the movement. For most adult men, somewhere in the 16 go 24 kg range will be about right.

    Another option is to hold onto something solid - I use the uprights of my power rack - and squat deep that way.

    Tim Randolph likes this.
  17. Anth

    Anth Double-Digit Post Count

    Thank you!
  18. fractal

    fractal More than 500 posts

    play around with your foot position. I suspect ankle mobility is an issue. Your knees stay wide, but you have a lot of turn out on your feet, so it looks like you're still getting valgus collapse. If you drop a plumb line from the middle of your knee, it should fall in line with the middle of your foot, not on the floor to the inside of your foot.

    You'll notice you're getting a bit of buttwink at the end (pelvis tucking under), indicating you're squatting below the limit of your mobility.

    Try elevating your heels by standing on the edge of a mat or similar and reducing your turn-out by 50%. Learn to feel the butt wink and stay above it, for the sake of both your knees and lower back. The valgus collapse and butt wink go hand in hand.

    Hope that helps!
    Anth likes this.
  19. Anth

    Anth Double-Digit Post Count

    Do you do this as a way of going through the movement in a sort of assisted way? Just for mobility?
  20. Bill Been

    Bill Been More than 500 posts

    Your squat is fine. Your pelvic movement is a function of you not bracing your abs adequately to lock your torso to your pelvis. This act - hard abdominal contraction- is made both more likely to occur and more necessary with more load. But you can work on it. Your knees are fine, tracking in line with uour toes with zero valgus or varus. The turn-out of your toes is perfectly fine as long as your knees track your toes. The way your femur fits into your hip may actually require this turn out.

    There’s nothing wrong with your squat. I would personally steer you away from butt-to-heels squats in favor of a low bar barbell squat, first because it’s finely graduated loading allows the load to meet your current capability and progress from there, and; the biomechanics of a low bar back squat transfers the moment force to your hip chassis, enhances the wrapping effect at the knee by adding the hamstrings back into the movement, and finally it’s properties are maximized at just below parallel if you have concerns about previous knee issues (which it will also help).

    Your squat is fine. A little fine tuning will help it. Zero knee valgus. Zero danger.
    Sean M, william bad butt and Hasbro like this.

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