Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Training Reflections Day. 18

When I started this idea for a 30 day squat challenge the winter was looking fairly mild on the West Side of Michigan. We were having Spring like weather and for the first week and a half it was easy for me to get to the gym to do my squat workouts.

Things were going great for the most part, but now we seem to be experiencing a perpetual snow storm. The gym I go to is 15-20 minutes away from my home on a good day and anywhere from 30-50 minutes on an awful day.

The weather has been a blessing and a curse to say the least. As detailed in earlier posts the first week of squatting was extremely tiring, but was almost magical at how easily lifting the weights seemed to become.  That being said my knee started nagging me which I have many theories as to why.

So being cooped up in at home I've been left to my own devices doing some lighter squat and technique work. More like light goblet squats almost every day which honestly is probably the best thing I could do for my knee right now.

Doing this almost constant squatting I am getting tons of feedback on my mobility and my technique. If something hurts or I'm unable to get into position very easily then I have to assess my technique and areas of restriction.

Technique wise I'm probably not going back on my heels enough in the bottom and coming out I am probably  rocking forward onto the balls of my feet. Obviously, this is a huge no no when squatting. I am trying to keep a cue in my mind I got from reading and watching Dan John's material in my at home practice to keep the toes pointed up when squatting.

It is a pretty simple cue and is one that I really don't think to use very often. However, it is a good way to make sure I am driving from the floor properly and to make sure my knees don't track to far forward in the bottom position.

Mobility, is another issue I am really trying to address and just playing around with some stuff the other day I've noticed that my calves are really tight. Some SMR stuff using a kettlebell on my ankles and calves really made a huge difference in getting into a better squat position.

Working on the calves and ankles is one part of the equation though and I have some clicking in one knee. Nothing painful, but I'm hoping that by working out some kinks in the lower part of my quads, my IT band, glutes and piriformis that I might be able to improve the squat.

Hoping to get an adjustment here as well in the next week or two which I think should be able to help.

Squatting doesn't seem to be as physically fatiguing as it was originally with all the frequency, however, I am finding all these weird imbalances and restrictions.

I think split squats may become a vital part in some knee health issues since they work more specifically the muscles around the knee caps. Maybe even some leg extensions or sissy squats to warm up the knees knees a little.

Also, I think I need to work on the hamstring biceps area. I started doing some leg curls with a foam roller to sorta pump the area up and it seems to make a little bit of a difference. Hoping to get to the gym here whenever the weather starts to look less shitty so I can actually throw a few plates on a machine for resistance.

I think doing more joint mobility like the sorta stuff Pavel Tsatsouline or Steve Maxwell promotes before a workout could be tremendously beneficial just to get the body warmed up a little bit.

Anyways, just observations I'm having. Squatting may not be the panacea some writers promote, but I also have been having some issues stemming from years of uneven hips, an atlas bone popped out of place and other things that only regular chiropractic care is probably going to fix. Unfortunately, I am an underpaid newspaper reporter who makes about as much as someone working for Walmart.

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