PDA

View Full Version : Squats / Legs



Fet
05-30-2006, 03:20 AM
Ok, here goes.
I'm bowlegged. With legs together, my knees do not touch. When I put my feet together, there is a 1 to 2" gap between my knees.

(Please spare me all the cowboy and horsey jokes. I've heard them all and they lost their sparkle way back in kindergarten. kthx.)

I've heard that ppl who are bowlegged have a higher rate of knee problems, but I have never had one day of knee pain in my life. I have great knees.

I've recently started adding squats to my workouts. I did them before with DB's, but now I'm using the BB and I love it, and it's made a huge difference to my legs and butt, more than any other exercise.

I was at physio last week for a shoulder injury, and asked the PT, in light of my shoulder problem, if I had a green light to hold the bar behind my shoulders for squats. He asked me to demonstrate my form. That's when he noticed the bowleggedness. He didn't want me to do squats or lunges, told me the leg press was safer. I can sort of understand where he's coming from, as when I bend at the knee, it's like a door hinge that's not "true". In my case, I can't do the old "your knee should point the same way as your foot" because my bones just don't line up that way. I do what feels right for me.

My question: Since I have never had any knee pain or injury, I'm tempted to continue with the squats until something goes wrong. Does anyone have any experience with this? Am I just asking for trouble? I'm seeing him again tomorrow, I'll ask more questions, but I'd like to hear other opinions.

ashleyk
05-30-2006, 03:30 AM
Interesting. All I can add to this is that my knees do not stay in line over my toes when I squat. I'm not bowlegged but for whatever reason they turn out just a hair.

Erik
05-30-2006, 03:34 AM
Why is the leg press better? The knees are still flexing/extending just like they would in any other quad dominant leg exercise.

Fet
05-30-2006, 03:37 AM
I'm not sure why he said the press was better. I'll ask him again tomorrow. Perhaps it was because my demo squat was a little shakey, in that I was caught off guard with his request for a demo, and I had to simulate holding a bar on my shoulders, so I didn't have the solid form I use at the gym. But that's just a guess. But it does seem like the same mechanics.

Fet
05-30-2006, 03:39 AM
Originally posted by ashleyk@May 29 2006, 10:30 PM
Interesting. All I can add to this is that my knees do not stay in line over my toes when I squat. I'm not bowlegged but for whatever reason they turn out just a hair.
I would be happy with "just a hair". :(
For me, when I am down in the squat, and I look down at my legs, there is NO rhyme or reason to the position of my upper leg vs my lower leg. I just have to wing it. I do a lot of pre-sets to get my form comfortable before I put the weights on though.

Pinky
05-30-2006, 04:26 AM
Not sure this answers you question or not, but I too am bowlegged, and I have never had an injury, (other then problems with my IT band when I run too much), and I still do squats, never really thought about it.

3sweeties
05-30-2006, 11:14 AM
When I put my feet together, there is a 1 to 2" gap between my knees. I guess I'm bowlegged too according to that description. I squat to and never had any knee trouble except when I was using a smith machine. :oops:

Sunshine
05-30-2006, 12:48 PM
From my perspective as a PT you're fine. Carry on. :)

Fet
05-30-2006, 04:30 PM
Update: Talked to PhysioGuy today, and I told him I have no intention of quitting squats and lunges, until and IF I start to feel pain in my knees.

He was ok with that, & explained about the leg press comment. It's the exact opposite reason why everyone recommends free squats over Smith. With free squats, normally you want the combination of weight load PLUS stabilization. But, in my case, he thinks I might have issues doing both, so if I have to choose between loading and stabilization, he suggests taking the stablization out of the equation wherever possible (not completely, of course). So for ME, Smith squats and leg press might be a safer route. In any case, I'm going to keep the free squats in my routine, for the time being.

He also acknowledged that as far as stance goes, I can toss all the "rules" out the window, as they don't apply to me. My best strategy is to really focus on my warm-up squats and play around with the stance and angles to find something that works for me. My knee will NEVER follow the path of my foot, so no point in trying, and he thinks its safe for my knee to go a little past my toes, because my stress points are different than the usual. Long story short....squats are back in! Yay!

The downside - now I'll be the one all you folks snicker at, cuz the dumb blonde is too stupid to realize that the Smith Machine is bad. :)

PowerManDL
05-30-2006, 04:37 PM
FWIW, my heaviest squats, done PL style, have my feet facing straight ahead. My knee doesn't track with them at all, and that style gives me less knee irritation than full OL style.

Fet
05-30-2006, 04:55 PM
Thanks...it helps to know that there are exceptions to every "rule". We have to adapt the routines to our particular body types. I try not to jump to judge others at the gym, when they're doing someone unusual or against the grain, cuz you never know why they are doing it.

After I start using the Smith, my PhysioGuy wants me to do rehab on my shoulder using 2lb DB's. So I will be a living, breathing, laughing-stock Gym 'Tard. I keep my mp3 player on at all times, and I really don't think the other members deserve an explanation from me. I'm too busy to defend myself.

To complete the picture, I just might change my outfit to include a Olivia Newton John-esque headband and leg warmers. If I'm going to train like a tard, I might as well look like one!

PowerManDL
05-30-2006, 04:57 PM
Make sure to put the soundtrack from "Foot Loose" on your MP3 player.

You can never have enough Kenny Loggins when you're trying to be hardcore.

Fet
05-30-2006, 04:58 PM
Good idea! I'm going to use House At Pooh Corner for my cardio. Nothing says "Sweating to the Oldies" like Jim Messina.

absolut_blonde
05-30-2006, 05:41 PM
I'm doing shoulder rehab too, either with the little girly weights or with the resistance bands! I figure that most people should be able to clue into what I'm doing and if not, then they don't know much anyway! :p

Fet
05-30-2006, 10:57 PM
I do my rehab with the bands at home, but I'll do the db's at the gym if I'm stalling for time (ie the cardio machine I've booked isn't free yet).

I'm so sick of this shoulder thingy. It's getting better but I've been banned from doing anything above shoulder height for the past 3 weeks, so there goes my Vertical push/pull day!!

Erik
05-30-2006, 11:43 PM
I don't understand why training for more stability is ever a bad thing. I don't see how the smith machine is the movement of choice here.

Fet
05-30-2006, 11:56 PM
Actually, he didn't bring up the Smith machine, I did. He suggested the leg press, because...jeez, I don't know the terminology here...the "instability" would only be from the hips down, instead of from my shoulders down (with a BB). I know I'm not making sense here...

Training for stability is never a bad thing, but I would have to use a lower weight, not the heavier weights I'm using right now to finally tackle my quads. Kind of like prehab. But I'm determined to work on my thighs and butt, and I'll take my chances with the squats anyway, until I blow my knee and curse myself.

It's like a door hinge that's not "true". You can slam the door as many times as you want, but it's not going to fix the alignment.

Leah
05-31-2006, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by PowerManDL@May 30 2006, 12:37 PM
FWIW, my heaviest squats, done PL style, have my feet facing straight ahead. My knee doesn't track with them at all, and that style gives me less knee irritation than full OL style.
How do you have your feet facing straight ahead on a PL squat? :unsure:

PowerManDL
05-31-2006, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by Leah@May 30 2006, 10:21 PM
How do you have your feet facing straight ahead on a PL squat? :unsure:
Very simple. I make sure the toes point straight ahead. The rest of the foot follows :D