there is much to say about the squat

we are all a little bit different so each one of us will have a unique application of the squat

equally there are similarities between us that permit a broad application

the first of these is thought to be the posture or position of the body throughout the movement

first then... concentrate on getting the style right

get a broom handle and a piece of flat wood about 1 metre by 1 metre and nail a metre long piece of 4 inch by 2 inch wood along one of the edges

the writer is using three bits of wood

each piece is three quarters of an inch thick and is kept in place by a long bolt

it is recommended that you start off, and try to keep, a full 2 inches of height under your heels

if you want to experiment remove one, two or all three of the bits of wood and discover how it feels

it's unlikely you will do any damage to yourself while not using any weights

you will hear most people say that raising the heels puts undue pressure on the knee joints

this is true when using heavier weights for power lifting and bodybuilding and the back isn't vertical

but we're not doing bodybuilding or power lifting we're doing weight training in a way that hasn't been explored before

the reason for raising the heels is it enables you to keep your back vertical throughout the movement

the writer's mentor use to do rep's at more than double his body weight and had been doing so for twenty years and had no problems at all and he always used blocks as well as being the only person known to the writer who kept a vertical back

there wasn't a single example on youtube of a person doing squats with weights with a vertical  back

the maximum weight we will be using is our body weight

whatever our individual weak points are the squat will highlight them and force us to strengthen them

the most important link in a chain is the weakest one

the writer has never met anyone who has experienced a "floating" squat

those familiar with the term "a floater" when talking about a sprinter will know that when this type of sprinter is running flat out a physiological mechanism kicks in and all of the effort goes out of maintaining her or his maximum speed

it's a great feeling (albeit it has only ever happened once to the writer)

there you are giving it all you've got when suddenly it becomes effortless and you are still moving at the same speed

it feels, literally, like you are floating, not downward or upward but forward

flo-jo (a world record holder) was a floater

the head on camera angle of her doing the 100 metres showed how she felt when the float kicked in... smiling all the rest of the way to the tape

well the same thing happens (albeit it has only ever happened once to the writer) when doing the squat

you take a deep breath and mentally brace yourself for the weight of the bar and as you go into the downward movement suddenly, like the sprinting float, you not only can't feel the weight of the bar but you don't feel any weight in your body either

when you're back in the starting position you're left wondering what on earth has just happened

it's easy to imagine that the reason the float occurs when sprinting is because in our evolutionary past it would be necessary to be able to sprint and maintain peak speed to flee from a predator

but a squat!

there's something yet to be understood about the squat

there is no argument with the statement that the toes and knees should be aligned throughout the complete movement


                                                 toe       toe      knee    knee          or        toe     toe         knee    knee

                                                  |           |         |         |                        /          \           /          \

but not...

                                                 toe       toe      knee    knee         or        toe      toe         knee    knee

                                                  /            \        |          |                        |        |             /          \

if an individual finds that her or his stance feels most comfortable doing it in the ways that are thought to be wrong for the skeletal structure as indicated above it may be that several years of gradually altering the toe/knee stance to those that are thought to be correct may realign the joints

there is complete agreement that breathing out should start when pushing up from the deepest point of the squat position