I’ll try to keep this short!
My girlfriend has been doing crossfit for about three months now. She is an athlete, but mostly a runner, so she has very very strong legs. As you all know, deep squats are some of the primary movements in Crossfit (which I dislike because i NEVER make my clients squat that low with their knees turned out). My girlfriend told me the instructors keep telling her to squat lower and that her chest is falling forward. I told her to squat safely and that if she couldn’t squat that low with proper form–dont do it!
I put her through a workout yesterday that involved body weight squats–knees/hips 90 degrees, knees and toes in line with each other. I was surprised to see even with no weight, he knees falling INWARD, LACK OF BALANCE, and CHEST FALLING FORWARD.
Now, in a squat assessment with a new, de-conditioned client, I would know the causes of these improper movements. BUT, as mentioned, my girlfriend has good balance, strong legs, and is an athlete. WHAT COULD BE THE CAUSE OF THIS???
TIGHT HIPS?? OVERACTIVE ADDUCTORS? WEAK LOW BACK??
ANYTHING WILL HELP! I just want to make sure she is doing these exercises correctly, and not becoming injured.
Shawn has given you a great starting point. There are a lot of factors that can be causing her knee dominance here. Most likely she hasn’t mastered the squat form. If she is unable to do a loaded squat, she needs to regress to a body squat and master the form. This is the obvious answer without providing a detailed analysis.
You said she has other instructors. I’m assuming that you know a lot about her program, which is why you have given her conflicting information. It’s important for her that she gets the right information regarding her program, but it’s ultimately up to her and the instructors she chooses to use. She won’t get anywhere with multiple trainers telling her something different every day. First thing she ought to do is to choose to train with you, others, or just train herself.
Just because she’s an athlete, that doesn’t mean that she isn’t subject to the same muscular imbalances that deconditioned clients may have. Another suggestion that might be more suited to her crossfit, put her on a smith machine with no wieght on the bar, and get her used to those deep squats on the smith machine. It’ll force her to do it correctly, with instruction of course. The smith machine might be a great progression from learning the form for a regular squat. She might learn the form best by just using a body bar and putting it behind her back so that it comes into contact with the back of her head, the top of her butt, and the thoracic spine. http://www.chicagohealers.com/wp-content/uploads/care-for-back1.jpg (See that link to see what I’m talking about.) That’ll help her get used to keeping her chest out and keeping her spine in proper alignment. It’ll tell you more about what muscles are weak with her as well upon proper analysis. The stability ball idea is a great suggestion as well. I don’t feel comfortable offering an opinion of what’s going on with her, I’d have to see it myself, but I think you’ve got a lot of good information to pull from here, and if you are going to train her, this should be a great place to start.