She Squats!

28 May

I finished reading the 63 page squat chapter of Mark Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength” book.  And since then I’ve been trying to mature my form.  One of these days I’ll show a video of my squat form before EVER reading that book.  It was absolutely HORRENDOUS.  Oh, but since we’re on the topic of “Mark Rippetoe” google “Rippetoe quotes.”

I just recently recovered from not only a hip strain but also a quad strain from sprinting so I was very pleased at being able to bump up my 85 lb 5-rep to 100 lbs!  The BEST news was that after 5 sets of 5 reps, I experienced neither hip pain NOR quad pain!  I guess he wasn’t kidding when Rip said, “Yes, if you squat wrong it f*cks things up. If you squat correctly, those same f*cked-up things will unf*ck themselves.”  (Sorry for the censorship but my Mom reads this, you know?)

I have a bad habit of allowing my weight to shift toward my toes so this squat session I made a concentrated effort to literally LIFT my toes up in my shoes, thus keeping the weighted bar between my heels and balls of my feet.  This is where my weightlifting shoes have come in really handy for me… I can feel EVERYTHING.

I’m also still exhibiting posterior rotation at the bottom of my squat but I think that will work itself out once I strengthen and develop hamstring flexibility.  That posterior rotation bothers me the MOST.  Ugh.

Another bad habit I have is allowing my knees (my right knee, in particular) to track inwards.  So, I’m working on pushing the knees out during the descent and ESPECIALLY during the ascent:

I’m seeing the most improvement in the development of my lumbar arch.  I think that’s the most important part for me:  PROTECT THE LUMBAR ARCH.  I’m 25 years old and I cannot afford to mess up my back.  I took a Squat Clinic with Phil Clark at The Training Station and he emphasized “Chest up!  Chest up!  Chest up!”  I’m still finding it difficult to balance with my chest up but it’s a work in progress.

Anyway, here’s a video of it all.  After my 4th rep, I looked at the rack because I wanted to rack the bar SO BADLY.  I didn’t know if I’d make it back up but my last rep ended up being my best rep.  I was concentrating SO hard on that one.

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5 Responses to “She Squats!”

  1. Jen May 28, 2010 at 20:33 #

    Looking amazing Jess!!! Who knew the squat was so complicated?!?

  2. Ben H June 2, 2010 at 02:14 #

    Really digging the bright orange, and clean photography.

    Squats scare me :/

  3. Jen June 13, 2010 at 21:17 #

    Its so funny, the whole “chest up” reminder always causes me to lift my head! HA! I like the thought of arching the lumbar spine. I need these cues makes a HUGE difference! Looking GOOD!!!!

    • jessicamacho June 24, 2010 at 15:37 #

      Cues help me a lot! I ask Ryan to “cue me” as I’m squatting so that I can get into the habit of correcting my form and FEELING what proper form should be. Chest up, knees out, down, hip drive, wrist… we use it ALL!

  4. jessicamacho June 15, 2010 at 13:34 #

    Thanks, Ben!

    Jen – The cues really help! I have Ryan observe and cue me so I can correct my form right then and there. Personally, I think maintaining the lumbar arch is the most important part… nothing quite like screwing up your back to ruin your day. I don’t even want to THINK about messing up my back! “Chest up” is a fairly new concept to me, though.

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