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Activating Glutes and Hams while squating

Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary

Member
Sep 8, 2010
92
29
#1
Hi all,
When I first started doing squats my knees were collapsing inwards. To fix it, I started doing all sorts of exercies to keep my knees out, which have helped a ton with lighter weights and through my warmup sets, but when I'm lifting in my work sets, my knees jsut really want to collapse, and no matter how much I focus on it I can't get me glutes to fire (at least that's how it feels).
What's my next steps? I'm thinking one of:

(i) see a physio and talk to them, though they always seem to treat with light weights and I'm not sure that helps my, work set issue;

(ii) lift lighter, cause I'm past my limit and compensating; or

(iii) just keep at it with the glute exercises, if the knee exercises are helping at all, they will eventually help totally.

Thanks
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Staff Member
Feb 27, 2011
17,066
4,628
#2
Does this happen on the leg press? What do you warm up on for squats and around what weight do you start having this problem?
 
W

Wolf

MuscleHead
Dec 25, 2010
274
45
#3
I'm going to try to simplify a sort of complicated answer to a complex question.

In correcting imperfections in squats there are several levels to run through, the first and most important level is your actual form. Get a camera, record your body profile as you squat with weights ranging from a warm up set to a working set. Have someone look at it and check for imperfections. Bar position, leg position, chain of movement.

The second thing you should do is address the mental aspect of it, the cues. Think of a mental cue to use when you squat, some sort of image or concept, some guys like to think of spreading the ground open when they squat, some guys like to visualize a stick running from their knee to the top of their foot and any extreme side to side movement snaps the stick.

From there you go to the physical aspect of it, do you have a muscular imbalance that is causing a deficiency in form? Especially with compound movements any weakness in a chain in the movement will expose itself as the lift gets heavier. Are you squatting later on in your routine and causing your squats to suffer as a result?

How are your warmups for squatting?
 
J

jute

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2010
142
9
#5
are you actually sitting back? Do you flare your knees out all the way from top to bottom? You have to physically push your knees out.. Sometimes I get a brain fart and forget to flare mine out, and they go inward. I serioulsy doubt you have an imbalance, You just need to mentally make yourself flare.
 
J

jute

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2010
142
9
#6
Id be willing to bet your not sitting back. Your probably squatting more on the fronts of your feet
 
scarl3tbutt3rfly

scarl3tbutt3rfly

TID Lady Member
Feb 25, 2011
312
6
#7
I had to work alot on my squat form over the years, especially to engage my glutes. I always do some sort of glute activation exercise in my warmup before I squat, but what I found worked for me was I did squat lighter and built it up. I found with myself I could squat heavy using my quads, but if I went deep, forget it. Those muscles were weak, so I had to start from light weight and build that strength up over time. I took a hit with my ego initially but got over it. I also visualize while squatting, but I read somewhere you should move like you are squatting into a hole with your butt leading your way down, and then back up, leading from your head on the way up. I don't know if that makes sense, but it works for me.
 
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