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Harriet

Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

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Squats feel all wrong. wobbly. going down too quickly, possibly too low? knees trying hard to cave in, torso/upper back feeling too soft to carry the barbell. not sure where to look. poor balance. every rep slightly different. not feeling anything in my quads. just overall stress.

 

But I added in some lighter weight goblet squats. They are hard, but also not for my quads. Rather, it's hard staying upright and holding a giant dumbbell with my tiny sparrow forearms.

 

I'm not sure anything I'm doing is working my poor, neglected quads. Maybe some medium weight squats will do the trick. 

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22 minutes ago, Harriet said:

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c05b8ad4978383932

 

Arghhh. They were supposed to be cute. Now they're ruined.

Grumble. Ruining people's day, one post at a time.

the rock maui GIF

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11 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

 

I don't have a gif to adequately express my sadness and horror. This can only be remedied with a different cute animal.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c05c354756b2f7151

 

And don't you dare tell me any disgusting facts about these babies. Like football i.e. soccer players, I know there's a not insignificant chance that they're terrible, but I don't want to know about it. I just want to watch them run around in their little shorts and deadlift soccer socks. 

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1 minute ago, Harriet said:

 

I don't have a gif to adequately express my sadness and horror. This can only be remedied with a different cute animal.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c05c354756b2f7151

 

And don't you dare tell me any disgusting facts about these babies. Like football i.e. soccer players, I know there's a not insignificant chance that they're terrible, but I don't want to know about it. I just want to watch them run around in their little shorts and deadlift soccer socks. 

The jumping you see in the gif has a name. It's called "pronking" or "stotting". There. Not only did you get another cute animal you even got a cute fact about said animal.

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:

Squats feel all wrong. wobbly. going down too quickly, possibly too low? knees trying hard to cave in, torso/upper back feeling too soft to carry the barbell. not sure where to look. poor balance. every rep slightly different. not feeling anything in my quads. just overall stress.

 

But I added in some lighter weight goblet squats. They are hard, but also not for my quads. Rather, it's hard staying upright and holding a giant dumbbell with my tiny sparrow forearms.

 

I'm not sure anything I'm doing is working my poor, neglected quads. Maybe some medium weight squats will do the trick. 

Oh hey, you actually had questions. Don't worry, I can help.

Image result for proper koalafications

Front squats and goblet squats should definitely be quad focused. Let's back up though. No, literally. Drop weight on your squats or do air squats. Do you squat in front of a mirror? use that to help form check. Cues from the bottom up.

 

Feet flat. You shouldn't feel like you can lift your toes or your heels up at any point in the squat except at the start before you dig in.

Knees stay over feet. I'm gonna steal a line or 5 from a NF blog about squats."Before you even start to descend into the squat, think “knees out!” Turn your kneecaps out so they track right over your feet. Your feet and body aren’t moving – just the legs and knees! Try it right now wherever you are sitting or standing: keep your foot stationary, but aim your knee like a flashlight to face different directions." To clarify, this means keep your knees in the same front rear plane as your feet. This will help with your knees caving in.

Find your stance. This may mean shoulder width, it may mean narrower or wider. It's the stance you would be in if your body takes over from your brain. What has worked best for me to determine this stance is jumping off a small box and your feet will want to land in the most natural spot. It may take several tries (or several dozen) to let the stance hit naturally. Anecdotal example, after I did this a bunch, I adjusted my stance and my squat jumped 20 lbs. overnight.

Back straight. Not | straight, but | or / or _ straight (although that last one is a good morning and I have further questions). All this cue is telling you is to maintain a neutral spine throughout the squat, not that it has to be straight up and down, which is nigh impossible if you low bar squat. You can also use Chest out as a similar cue. Pushing the chest out/pulling the shoulders back will help force the back into a neutral position as well.

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I don't have anything helpful to say about squats, mine are in a permanent state of repair as well.
 

I do have a baby raccoon on a scooter, though. So here's that.

 

tenor.gif?itemid=4447029

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54 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Oh hey, you actually had questions. Don't worry, I can help.

Front squats and goblet squats should definitely be quad focused. Let's back up though. No, literally. Drop weight on your squats or do air squats. Do you squat in front of a mirror? use that to help form check. Cues from the bottom up.

 

Feet flat. You shouldn't feel like you can lift your toes or your heels up at any point in the squat except at the start before you dig in.

Knees stay over feet. I'm gonna steal a line or 5 from a NF blog about squats."Before you even start to descend into the squat, think “knees out!” Turn your kneecaps out so they track right over your feet. Your feet and body aren’t moving – just the legs and knees! Try it right now wherever you are sitting or standing: keep your foot stationary, but aim your knee like a flashlight to face different directions." To clarify, this means keep your knees in the same front rear plane as your feet. This will help with your knees caving in.

Find your stance. This may mean shoulder width, it may mean narrower or wider. It's the stance you would be in if your body takes over from your brain. What has worked best for me to determine this stance is jumping off a small box and your feet will want to land in the most natural spot. It may take several tries (or several dozen) to let the stance hit naturally. Anecdotal example, after I did this a bunch, I adjusted my stance and my squat jumped 20 lbs. overnight.

Back straight. Not | straight, but | or / or _ straight (although that last one is a good morning and I have further questions). All this cue is telling you is to maintain a neutral spine throughout the squat, not that it has to be straight up and down, which is nigh impossible if you low bar squat. You can also use Chest out as a similar cue. Pushing the chest out/pulling the shoulders back will help force the back into a neutral position as well.


Thank you for the help. There are mirrors in the gym, but the benches are right in front of the squat racks so I have to pick somewhere on the bench to look at--if there's no one benching. It's a bit confusing, and I don't have the best balance.

 

My feet are good and flat, always, no worries there. I used the cue of trying to keep the bar in a vertical path over mid foot and it helped.

 

I always try shove my knees out but with heavier weights they tick in involuntarily.

The stance tips are useful, I'll play around with that. I will also try the chest out/shoulders back cue.

Sigh. I guess there's nothing for it. I have to lower the weight and practice some more. For the third time. I just can't get past this 100-ish lb region without my form going. I am hoping that adding in light and medium squats for higher reps will make this time different.

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9 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Sigh. I guess there's nothing for it. I have to lower the weight and practice some more. For the third time. I just can't get past this 100-ish lb region without my form going. I am hoping that adding in light and medium squats for higher reps will make this time different.

 

The higher reps will definitely help. Working on form with endurance fatigue in a safe manner is definitely good. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to drop weight when getting close to new weights because my form started to falter and I discovered I had something else i needed to improve. Don't get stuck in the dropping weight mindset. And be patient. This is not  something you should rush.

That being said...

Image result for patience is a virtue meme

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2 hours ago, Grumble said:

 

The higher reps will definitely help. Working on form with endurance fatigue in a safe manner is definitely good. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to drop weight when getting close to new weights because my form started to falter and I discovered I had something else i needed to improve. 


Yeah, at least my reason for dropping the weights this time is a different reason to last time. That means I solved the last problem, right? 
 

2 hours ago, Grumble said:

That being said...

Image result for patience is a virtue meme

 

Yeahhhhh I want all the strong! Soon if not now! Oh well, I think I figured out a few reasons why I have been stuck the last 6 months, and I'm changing things to fix it. I guess I'll see in a few weeks if it's working.

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Sigh. I guess there's nothing for it. I have to lower the weight and practice some more. For the third time. I just can't get past this 100-ish lb region without my form going. I am hoping that adding in light and medium squats for higher reps will make this time different.

What I noticed for me, when form started going south, it meant the weight was too heavy at that time....here is my squat progression before I lost the gym membership

 

image.thumb.png.dde92cfb2e3d1f326c32f615f4f01a64.png

 

I had some serious de-loads and some serious embarrassing moments in that time. Just stick with it! 

 

You can do it!

 

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7 minutes ago, farflight said:

What I noticed for me, when form started going south, it meant the weight was too heavy at that time....here is my squat progression before I lost the gym membership

 

image.thumb.png.dde92cfb2e3d1f326c32f615f4f01a64.png

 

I had some serious de-loads and some serious embarrassing moments in that time. Just stick with it! 

 

You can do it!

 

 

Thanks for sharing. I always like hearing about other people's lifting journeys. I intend to defeat all the weights with sheer persistence. Like the persistence hunting mentioned in grumble's thread. I am going to walk at those weights for days and months until they lay down like exhausted gazelle and succumb to my ceaselessness. 

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So, serious question. Has anyone bought lifting shoes and found them helpful for the squat? Currently lifting in chuck taylors. I keep thinking about it but then second guess because I think I'm not even squatting enough weight for it to matter. Then again, if they helped with the stability even a little bit, that could be nice. But then maybe flat shoes are better than heels... who knows?

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Oh Fork. I just tried an ankle dorsiflexion test. I assumed that since my stupid feet are so unstable from side to side that they were too mobile, if anything. But it turns out the right foot, (which I sprained twice in the last two years, and which hasn't been the same since), can do slightly less than 5 inches of dorsiflexion. Maybe this is relevant to my unstable squat. 


Edit. Why did I ignore this? Apparently I combine some types of hyper mobility and instability with other types of stiffness and inflexibility. 

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20 minutes ago, Harriet said:

So, serious question. Has anyone bought lifting shoes and found them helpful for the squat? Currently lifting in chuck taylors. I keep thinking about it but then second guess because I think I'm not even squatting enough weight for it to matter. Then again, if they helped with the stability even a little bit, that could be nice. But then maybe flat shoes are better than heels... who knows?

I have not found a need for lifting shoes at this point in my story. I squat/Deadlift in chucks or socks. I also lift beltless, so I'm kind of an outlier on the heavier side of life.

 

5 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Oh Fork. I just tried an ankle dorsiflexion test. I assumed that since my stupid feet are so unstable from side to side that they were too mobile, if anything. But it turns out the right foot, (which I sprained twice in the last two years, and which hasn't been the same since), can do slightly less than 5 inches of dorsiflexion. Maybe this is relevant to my unstable squat. 


Edit. Why did I ignore this? Apparently I combine some types of hyper mobility and instability with other types of stiffness and inflexibility. 

Definitely a potential reason. I know i've got some issues, esp with bench, because one shoulder is more mobile than other due to surgery.

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31 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Has anyone bought lifting shoes and found them helpful for the squat?

They aren't lifting shoes...but I found them helpful in getting good depth and maintaining form...also...just don't tell Grumble that these are the shoes that got me to...almost enjoy...running...Merrell Vapor Glove 3

 

I think the flatness of the sole helps me at least. I do really enjoy them for both lifting and running. Just don't walk long distances on pavement in them, and they're hella grippy

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8 hours ago, Gemma said:

I don't have anything helpful to say about squats, mine are in a permanent state of repair as well.
 

I do have a baby raccoon on a scooter, though. So here's that.

 

tenor.gif?itemid=4447029


Thank you for the baby racoon. I saw a racoon for the first time a couple of nights ago. I thought they were about the size of cats but they're big! Kinda cute though. But not cute enough to let my husband (who has never seen a raccoon, and who misses our cats) open the door and say hello.

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1 hour ago, farflight said:

They aren't lifting shoes...but I found them helpful in getting good depth and maintaining form...also...just don't tell Grumble that these are the shoes that got me to...almost enjoy...running...Merrell Vapor Glove 3

 

I think the flatness of the sole helps me at least. I do really enjoy them for both lifting and running. Just don't walk long distances on pavement in them, and they're hella grippy


But how can it be hard enough for lifting and springy enough for running at the same time?

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

I have not found a need for lifting shoes at this point in my story. I squat/Deadlift in chucks or socks. I also lift beltless, so I'm kind of an outlier on the heavier side of life.

 

Definitely a potential reason. I know i've got some issues, esp with bench, because one shoulder is more mobile than other due to surgery.

 

Chucks are definitely working for my deadlift, no complaints there. And I am certainly not lifting enough to warrant a belt. ONE DAY I will lift so much that people will gasp when the see me piling all the plates on. But for now, a belt would be overkill for sure. 

Oh yeah, I started off really slowly with the OHP and assisted pull-ups because of excessively mobile shoulders. I used to have virtually no muscle on my upper back. If I reached back, I could fit a hand under my sticky-outy shoulder blades. I remember the physio giving me exercises for it (about 10 years ago). I was supposed to voluntarily tighten my serratus muscles and draw an alphabet with a soup can. It did absolutely nothing.But now, thanks to rows and deadlifts and assisted pull-ups, I have muscles! There is only about three fingers worth of sticky-outiness. I think that's a serious improvement. How do you deal with your bench? Just increase very slowly, or?

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7 hours ago, Harriet said:

So, serious question. Has anyone bought lifting shoes and found them helpful for the squat? Currently lifting in chuck taylors. I keep thinking about it but then second guess because I think I'm not even squatting enough weight for it to matter. Then again, if they helped with the stability even a little bit, that could be nice. But then maybe flat shoes are better than heels... who knows?

 

6 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oh Fork. I just tried an ankle dorsiflexion test. I assumed that since my stupid feet are so unstable from side to side that they were too mobile, if anything. But it turns out the right foot, (which I sprained twice in the last two years, and which hasn't been the same since), can do slightly less than 5 inches of dorsiflexion. Maybe this is relevant to my unstable squat. 


Edit. Why did I ignore this? Apparently I combine some types of hyper mobility and instability with other types of stiffness and inflexibility. 

 

 

It usually depends of personal anthropometry.

 

If you squat with knees pushing forwards over the toes, a narrower stance and a more upright torso, then lifting shoes will probably help. If you squat a bit wider, with a more vertical shin angle and a more foward torso position, then flatter shoes will probably be better.

 

There are outliers though and it's often a case of personal experimentation.

 

For instance:

 

I squat wide, with a vertical shin and flat shoes a great... however, if I want to front squat (which is nearly impossible with a wide stance), I have to bring my stance in and I use lifting shoes. However, I don't front squat very often and my lifting shoes get the most use for benching and overhead pressing.

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15 hours ago, farflight said:

They aren't lifting shoes...but I found them helpful in getting good depth and maintaining form...also...just don't tell Grumble that these are the shoes that got me to...almost enjoy...running...Merrell Vapor Glove 3

Yes Jack Nicholson GIF - Yes JackNicholson Pervert GIFs
I note some extra hesitation. methinks you aren't being completely honest with yourself. That's really not good for you.
 
15 hours ago, farflight said:

I think the flatness of the sole helps me at least. I do really enjoy them for both lifting and running. Just don't walk long distances on pavement in them, and they're hella grippy

 

14 hours ago, Harriet said:


But how can it be hard enough for lifting and springy enough for running at the same time?

The vapors are considered a barefoot shoe and have a minimal or zero drop, so there isn't much of a difference between lifting in these and lifting in socks. I like my cushioning in my running shoes so I could never use these, but I see the appeal for a one stop shoe. Also, until I bought my chucks (my first pair EVER) earlier this year, I only performed squats and deadlifts in socks. Probably still would, but losing enough weight to fit into chucks was something I couldn't pass up (I was a VANS kid growing up).

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