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.
A lot of girls I train have had this issue, especially runners! As has been said, this imbalance could be an ACL injury waiting to happen. The others have made great points about glute activation (medius & maximus), foam rolling & ankle mobility. One thing I’ll add that’s helped my clients is the smith squat. Most girls feel they’ll lose their balance doing a traditional squat if they’re accustomed to leading the motion with their knees. The smith machine forces them to remain upright (so no chest drop) & use the back of their legs & glutes to drive the weight back up. Just make sure your friend’s shins remain perpendicular to the floor throughout the exercise & start with little or no weight til the technique is perfect. Her feet should stay flat on the floor. Since the machine is supporting her, she can lean all her weight backward without fear of falling. If you don’t have a smith machine available, use a stability ball as Andrew said. While she’s squatting tell her to try to “pop the ball”. It’s a good way to retrain a kinetic chain that’s misfiring.