Tall guys- Do your knees come out a little past your toes on squats?

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by PaddoK, Jan 20, 2008.

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  1. PaddoK

    PaddoK Some dolphins get massacred, some dolphins get blo

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    I know all the books say knees past toes = knee problems. But I've also read that it varies a bit, based on individual biomechanics.

    I'm 6'5" and have taken about a year off from serious squatting due to various sports related injuries.

    I'm starting squatting again just working on getting good form down, and try as I might, my knees always come a little bit past my toes. Probably an inch. They don't buckle inwards, and I don't have any pain.

    If this is a problem, what can I do to rectify it?
     
  2. PaddoK

    PaddoK Some dolphins get massacred, some dolphins get blo

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    I've tried keeping elbows perpendicular to the floor, and also squeezing my upper back together. I try and push backwards with my butt to start but I feel like I wind up tilting my pelvis.
     
  3. React

    React Still Strong

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    yes mine do and im almost 6'3... its WAY more awkward for us taller longer limbed individuals for squatting and DL's. Your form is probably fine just think about pushing your hips and butt back and then going down instead of straight down.. dunno if that helps but cant really explain it.
     
  4. Perkwunos

    Perkwunos Dog Bones OT Supporter

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    No, my knees do not go past my toes
    I am about 6'3

    It depends on your style of squatting, and then how long your apendages are.
     
  5. PaddoK

    PaddoK Some dolphins get massacred, some dolphins get blo

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    I try and stick with just a normal should width stance for squats. I've tried a wider stance, which was much more comfortable, but I feel like I'm cheating while doing it.

    Also, I have a similar tall guy problem I think. When deadlifting, I have trouble keeping both my shoulders back and my back straight. It seems like I can get my shoulders back, but my back rounds, or I can get my back straight but my shoulders are pulled forward since the bar is so low.
     
  6. Perkwunos

    Perkwunos Dog Bones OT Supporter

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    How so? not going low enough?


    This should not be a problem no matter your height, you just need to learn to pull properly or you have a flexibility issue.
     
  7. Skeletor

    Skeletor Guest

    I have long really long legs. My knees might go past my toes a little, but the way I squat is really between my legs so to speak.... like I push my knees outward and drop between them as opposed to pushing my knees forward and sitting on top of them. It doesn't look a whole lot different but mechanically that's how I sum it up.


    My stance is heels @ shoulder width with toes pointed way out, and I hit full depth always.
     
  8. Perkwunos

    Perkwunos Dog Bones OT Supporter

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    That is in my opinion going to be the best way for most people to squat. It is how I do it.
     
  9. Mike McDermott

    Mike McDermott It's evolution, baby. OT Supporter

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    nothing wrong with your knees going past your toes
     
  10. size18boarder

    size18boarder rhetorical OT Supporter

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    I'm 6'6" and my knees go past my toes. it took me a while to get decent squat form.

    as for deadlifting, try going sumo. my feet go as wide as the plates and really helps my form...there is no way I could safely do a traditional deadlift right now
     
  11. hootpie

    hootpie New Member

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    I'm 6'3" and use a slightly wider than shoulder width stance and my knees always come past my feet a little.
     
  12. 4cd-Air

    4cd-Air Rape seemed like the next logical step

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    you just have to practice your form a lot to get it right...the guys who said it's a flexibility issue are correct. The more you go slow and low the better you'll get at it. Remember less weight with better form is better in the long run.
     
  13. GuOD

    GuOD mcflurry diet

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    my knees go way past my toes... PL guys always tell me not to but I don't think it's a problem :dunno:
     
  14. jokka

    jokka OT Supporter

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    i'm 6'2 and i have no trouble going deep without my knees coming out. i just keep everything tight and fill my stomach will air to keep me stabalized
     
  15. Genghis.Tron

    Genghis.Tron New Member

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    I think that studies who dealth about knees not going past your toes considered only the strain put onto the knee joint while the back had to counterbalance this, which isn't better. Olympic lifters go past their toes and they're doing fine. IBCeaze
     
  16. NUDES

    NUDES New Member

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    I don't know what's with people's fear of knees going passed toes. If you "sit back" and lean forward you are:

    1) cheating quad development
    2) placing most stress on low back
    3) beat up hips more

    People should initiate a squat by pushing their knees OUT and squattin in between their legs. in my opinion anyway.
     
  17. GuOD

    GuOD mcflurry diet

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    The PL guys I workout with all squat without knees going over toes and some of them don't even squat that wide. They just sit back very well and use their hips. It's actually pretty awesome to see one of them squat.. he's able to keep perfect form on his max attempts.

    I think if your knees go over your toes you use a lot more quads, and if they don't then you really use your hips - I did some bw squats down to bench keeping knees way out and behind toes and my hips friggin killed :hsd:
     
  18. Hamster

    Hamster Active Member

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    I attended a barbell seminar with Rippetoe/Kilgore this past weekend. The information presented to me nullifies your points about knees over toes. I'm not claiming to be an expert, nor am I dismissing your knowledge, but I would like to see any evidence against it.

    1) The back squat (especially the low bar position) is not a quad dominant exercise. In essence, not cheating your quadriceps is cheating your posterior chain. If an athlete wanted to focus more on their quads that can do front squats. And even then, during a front squat the knees should not extend past the toes. Keeping the knees behind the toes is used to keep the bar centered to the middle of the foot - thus preserving a straight and efficient bar path.

    2) Based on squatting correct form, the back angle that will be maintained throughout the squat will be established within the first 1/3 of the eccentric phase and maintained until the last 1/3 of the concentric phase.

    I believe when they're telling him to "sit back" they mean unlock his hips more - this does not change the back angle whatsoever during the course of the squat and should not place any extra stress on the lower back.

    3) The back squat is the posterior chain focused exercise. Naturally - the hips will get be stressed more since the quads aren't being used as much for assistance.

    Unless by "beat up hips" you mean joint wise. Then I have no idea.
     
  19. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    when I squat OLY style they go slightly past the toes, but not when I'm doing a PL style squat. I never think about it though.
     
  20. bigdamray

    bigdamray New Member

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    I guess I'm not allowed to comment on this!! LMAO!!
     
  21. Ceaze

    Ceaze https://hearthis.at/DoYouEvenUplift Moderator

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    J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Nov;17(4):629-33.

    Effect of knee position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat.
    Fry AC, Smith JC, Schilling BK.

    Human Performance Laboratories, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee 38152, USA. [email protected]

    Some recommendations suggest keeping the shank as vertical as possible during the barbell squat, thus keeping the knees from moving past the toes. This study examined joint kinetics occurring when forward displacement of the knees is restricted vs. when such movement is not restricted. Seven weight-trained men (mean +/- SD; age = 27.9 +/- 5.2 years) were videotaped while performing 2 variations of parallel barbell squats (barbell load = body weight). Either the knees were permitted to move anteriorly past the toes (unrestricted) or a wooden barrier prevented the knees from moving anteriorly past the toes (restricted). Differences resulted between static knee and hip torques for both types of squat as well as when both squat variations were compared with each other (p < 0.05). For the unrestricted squat, knee torque (N.m; mean +/- SD) = 150.1 +/- 50.8 and hip torque = 28.2 +/- 65.0. For the restricted squat, knee torque = 117.3 +/- 34.2 and hip torque = 302.7 +/- 71.2. Restricted squats also produced more anterior lean of the trunk and shank and a greater internal angle at the knees and ankles. The squat technique used can affect the distribution of forces between the knees and hips and on the kinematic properties of the exercise. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Although restricting forward movement of the knees may minimize stress on the knees, it is likely that forces are inappropriately transferred to the hips and low-back region. Thus, appropriate joint loading during this exercise may require the knees to move slightly past the toes.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. NUDES

    NUDES New Member

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    If you have read Rippetoe's book he suggests a mild break at the hips backwards and then down for squatting. The "sitting back" thing I am talking about is how PL's squat in gear or used to squat in gear. Pushing your knees out to begin a squat as seen in this video is popular amongst PL camps now:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGgzGHRuddk

    People who sit back excessively and forward lean excessively tend to cut their squats high and lack leg power in my opinion. For example, you can "squat" 450 or whatever, but you can hardly push press 180. With a 450 squat your legs should be strong enough to push press at least 225, most likely 260+.

    There is nothing wrong with sitting back as msot people still do it, but as I said I was referring to sitting back as geared powerlifters do it or used to do it.
     
  23. NUDES

    NUDES New Member

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    This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Most people end up in position B when they think "sit back sit back sit back". This becomes essentially a low back exercise. If you want to train your lower back, do some good mornings.

    When you squat you want to remain as upright as possible.
     
  24. Ceaze

    Ceaze https://hearthis.at/DoYouEvenUplift Moderator

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    "In a correct back squat, there is essentially one correct place for the knees: slightly out in front of the toes, the exact distance being determined by the anthropometry of the individual, directly in line with the foot so that the femur and the foot are parallel and congruent....Depending on the femur/tibia/trunk dimensions of the trainee, the knee could be anywhere from directly plumb to the toes or three to four inches in front of the toes." -Starting Strength
     
  25. :|

    :| Guest

    he's not looking up :nono::mamoru:
     
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