Correction for common musculo skeletal faults in a squat

Transcribed from video:

– Squat, posterior pelvic tilt in a squat. What is the first thing we were trying to do? We did squats earlier this morning. What’s the first thing we were trying to do before trying anything else?

– Yeah, we were trying to coach them out of the problem. Easy. Fixed, straight away. One knot. What’s the second thing we were trying to do? Fix their…?

– Motor control. Yeah? Sitting on that box, hovering off the box. Wow, look you can now do a squat with a neutral pelvis. We teach them how to do it. Not just the coaching cue, but teaching them how to do it. Teaching them the skill of squatting with a neutral spot. If you can’t do that, then that’s when we need to start looking at the movement therapy, because it sounds sort of like underlying musculoskeletal dysfunction, and that’s where we can go a little bit deeper with this and look at distraction at the hip, look at what might be tight, weak, loose, overactive, underactive. And again, a lot of that has gotten over this posterior pelvic tilt, that’s the one that I’ve set up some other resources to send you guys through, so you can read and absorb that if you take that as one of your items. Knee valgus. Knees falling in. We’ve identified the problem. We’ve assessed the problem. Their knees are falling in. What could be tight to cause that?

– [Student] Whatever pulls the knees in.

– Whatever pulls them there. Who said that? Perfect. Whatever pulls the knees in. For bonus points, what muscles could that be? Broadly speaking.

– [Student] Adductor.

– Adductors. Okay? So, how do we… if these are too tight and too overactive, what do we do?

– What does it look like?

– Like in the bath with your knees out. Yeah? You guys see how we’re like, starting to piece bits together from the different modules? It’s starting to come together, and you’re realising that you remember maybe a lot more than you feel like you were, ’cause we’ve gone through a lot of stuff in one day… What is weak? Underactive?

– [Students] Abductors?

– Abductors. Anything involved in pulling the knees out. Okay? Glutes, gluteus medius maybe in particular. Let’s go back to when we talked about stability, because this fold is a really good example here. We talked about stability. If mobility is the ability to create movement, what is stability? The ability to…

– [Students] Resist.

– Resist movement. So when we want to work on the knees being able to track out more when we squat, we’re trying to resist this movement. So we need to apply an external force that’s going to pull our knees in. Now we need to fight that because the act of fighting it, by definition, the act of resisting this force creates stability. How do we do that?

– [Students] Bands.

– We put bands around your knees. Okay? And lying on the ground doing this sort of thing, I’m not saying there’s not a place for it, but I don’t believe there’s as much a place for that, as there is a place for putting a band around your knee and squatting. Because it’s specific to the skill you’re doing. Your feet are planted on the ground. The more we can match your therapy, your movement therapy with the position that we’re trying to fix, the more applicable it’s going to be to that position. And I don’t think many of you would argue with the fact that a squat is more usable for exercise, athletics, longevity, life, health… than doing this.

– Not to say that that’s not a bad thing. There are no bad exercises. Just like your guys’ journey this weekend, it’s a continuum. I believe, and some people won’t agree with me and that’s cool, I believe that squatting with a band around your knees sits further on the continuum than doing this on the ground. Bob?

– [Bob] If someone does have knee valgus. Would you get them to do it as a warm up and then take the band away, or would you have them do it under load?

– Yes. Those things.

– [Bob] Okay.

– All of those things. Yeah, and different combinations of it, but definitely, if they’re underactive, then doing squats with a band around their knees activates it. You then take it away, those muscles are all turned on. Our spinal cord, when we wake up in the morning, we’ve got nerves coming off all these levels of our spinal cord. When we wake up in the morning, each of these little nerves has got a volume knob on it. And that volume knob goes from zero up to ten. When we wake up, and everything’s pretty asleep, they’re all set on about a two. Which is why, when you wake up, you can’t like squeeze and make a fist, you probably can’t go and PB your deadlift within two minutes of waking up. You got to turn those muscles on. So doing pre-activation stuff prior to training can be really useful, because what it does, it says, okay. This nerve here, this nerve here, and this nerve here, they’re involved in deadlifting. This nerve here, this nerve here, this nerve here, aren’t. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to turn the volume up to ten on these, which means we’ll turn down to three on these, and that’s going to make us deadlift better. That’s why you should warm up specific to the exercises you’re about to do. So doing this pre-exercise will turn the volume up on the nerves which innervate, activate, the muscles which are underactive, therefore make them more active for the sessions themselves. Okay? But, do it after as well, ’cause that’ll turn it on. But if you want to get better at squatting, what do you do?

– [Student] Squat.

– Squat. Okay? If you want to get better at keeping the knees out, you keep your knees out. But you have to squat and fatigue yourself. You can’t squat and not go into the point of progressive overload. Same thing with your rehab stuff. So anything we’ll do is exercises but don’t push to the point where their muscles are actually doing enough. Yeah? Doing this a couple times with a band, they’re feeling it’s pretty easy, is not going to be enough. Just like with anything, you need to overload to a degree. Let’s probably categorise these into two areas, ’cause we’ve talked about these being an issue with the achilles here. Excessive foot turnout. What is tight?

– The ankles, the achilles, yeah, your ability to point and flex. How can we fix that? How can we address that?

– Yep. So do P and F for solitus that we talked about. The one where you lie on the front, knees bent, foot is up, and you’re doing that sort of fellow there. Cool?

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.