Friday is TABATA, but I came across this Crossfit Blog and thought it would be worth a read for all that are doing the Strength, and those that wonder what we mean when we say that you need to squat deeper.  Enjoy and ask questions we would like to see everyone squat as follows.  The Blog is from One World Crossfit in Santa Cruz.  The person in the pictures name is Freddie Camacho.  He is also the owner of Crossfit One World.  Freddie was the lead instructor at my Crossfit Level One certification, and is going to be competing in the 45-49 year age division at the Crossfit Games this summer.

May 23, 2012


There is quite an epidemic at One World. It reared up it's ugly head several times throughout the day on Tuesday. Each training session started with a 5 x 4 back squat. The epidemic is the squat that is not a squat. Let me explain......

There are many ways to do a squat. There is a high bar position or a low bar position. Some people prefer to keep their feet shoulder width apart and some prefer a wider stance. There are people that preach pointing the toes slightly outward, and there are those who prefer the toes pointed straight forward. Regardless of all these squat techniques, a squat can only be a squat if you squat below parallel.

This is the squat that is not a squat:0523121607Imagine if you took a 1" wide paint brush and painted a red line on the right side of my leg from the top the femur to the where the femur ends at the knee. In the picture above, that red line would not be parallel to the ground. This is known as squatting above parallel. I am missing full range of motion in this picture. So what should I do to fix it? Either squat lower, or, if I can't get lower, squat lighter so I can squat lower. It makes no sense at all to squat "heavy" above parallel if you can't squat light below parallel.

Most of you are totally capable of squatting below parallel. Here are a few reasons you don't:

  1. Some of you just have no awareness of what your ass does for a living. You are so disconnected with your body that you believe you are sqatting lower than you really are. You also try and compensate not squatting lower by bending over more, which also makes you think you are squatting lower. Since you probably don't want to install a back-up camera on your ass, the best thing to do is practice squatting to a box that sets you up at below parallel when your ass touches it. This is the easieast way to get used to squatting below parallel.
  2. Some of you simply don't want to do the hard work. I've seen people squatting above parallel in mid-set who then hit a few reps below parallel when I point out that they are above. I almost always hear the same thing: "Wow, that's way harder!" DUH! The simple fix is stop being a pansy and work fucking harder. If squatting was easy it wouldn't be the king of all weightlifting movements.
  3. Some of you are trying to squat above your physical capability. In police work we call this an "FBI Clue": If you are not strong enough to get a load back up once you are in a full squat, it is too damn heavy. Lighten the load and do the real work. I can't stand to see guys and girls squatting above parallel and then adding more weight. As the load gets heavier they get even farther away from a good squat. Maybe that shit is impressive at 24 Hour Fitness, but definitely not at One World. (GBO!)

The squat is a beast of an exercise. When I work squats in sets of five, I am sweating and tired. It's hard work. For those of you who are new to the squat (and I define new as squatting for less than 3 months at least), there is nothing wrong in tapering your squat loads back. You are new and just learning how to squat proper. The beautiful thing about squatting regularly when you are new is you see improvement relatively quickly. The really hard work comes when you truly start to squat at the limits of your strength. BAM!!! Everything you do at the gym will get better.

The moral of the story is don't cheat yourself now, and it will pay off in the end. We are adding the strength back to the daily workouts at One World. You are going to be squatting at least once a week. Walk before you run. Get the mechanics down and the strength will come. I promise!

BTW- Here is a picture of a squat below parallel.  0523121608On your next squat day, ask your trainer to check your squat depth, and please please please pay attention when we tell you, "LOWER!!!"

I'm excited to see everyone squatting better during their next sqaut session.....

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