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Crossfit Squats Question


CT, I recently went to a crossfit session where I was told I have been squatting incorrectly, and was wondering if you could clear up the confusion. I was told that I should sit first, medium stance, that the knees should not extend past the ankles AND to keep the back straight without bending forward even slightly. I have excellent hip flexibility (so that's not the issue) but there is no way I can go parallel with a narrower stance and maintain the form as described above. *This is also without weight. I don't see any of the other crossfitters going parallel in this position. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks so much!


I train several crossfit athletes, including 8 that went to Canada East regionals this year. I held people from 5 different "boxes" and my wife trains at another one and I've never seen or heard about squatting that way. Some squat olympic style others powerlifting-style.

What you describe sounds a lot like olympic style in which you keep the torso as upright as possible, sit down between your feet instead of sitting back. But if you want any depth like that, the knees will have to travel forward a bit more, especially if you have long femurs.


That's exactly what I thought! I definitely have long femurs, and my knees automatically move slightly forward in that position. I just started at this "box," but unfortunately there seems to be more emphasis on speed than form. What I'm really interested in, however, is properly learning the olympic lifts. I'm here in Santiago de Chile for the next year, and was wondering if you had any recommendations about where to search for coaching. It seems that olympic lifting is more popular here in Latin America, but I've only been able to find info for professional athletes. thanks again!


That's exactly what I thought! I definitely have long femurs, and my knees automatically come forward in this position. It seems at this box, there is more emphasis on speed than form. Thanks again!


Check out California strength on YouTube ....pendley teaches the lifts pretty simple ....a cue I got from CT that has worked wonders for me is chest toward the ceiling (assuming proper position) ...hope that helps


thanks so much! i will definitely check it out!

yeah...i'm a little skeptical of the training at my box. deadlifts were on the list today, and there was some major back-rounding going on!


sounds like you lucked out, and found a box where the people in charge have funny ideas about training. my own experience finds that the inclusion of crossfit exacerbates their need to be different




love it


haha great vid! thanks!! :slightly_smiling:


I want to say that it seems that latin american (the hispanic type, not black) tend to have shorter limbs relative to their torso, which makes it easy to do a full squat with an upright torso without the knees going over the toes. But those with longer limbs do not have the same mechanics.


well my trainer has the exact body type you describe and is a good 4-5 inches shorter than me. when we were doing squats today he again corrected my knee position, so I just took a wider stance--then he told me to narrow my position! I finally explained that it's much more difficult for me to do so, as I have longer limbs, so it seems now he understands.

I'm currently doing the box's "intro" 3x/week (MWF) for the next three weeks (I already paid), but I am dying to get back to lifting. After the first week of Crossfit, I thought I would be too drained (but that was before customs decided to release my Plazma after holding it hostage for three weeks!). With Plazma, the workouts aren't nearly as grueling (more like energizing).

My question, CT, is what type of lifting program you would recommend while I am currently finishing up these 3 weeks? Obviously, I can't do layers, but I still want to lift heavy and focus on the basic movements. My biggest issue with recovery is lack of sleep (even when I get 8 hrs, I feel tired all the time, as I tend to be a poor sleeper). Any advice you have would be sincerely appreciated!


If your box allows it, a method I like is to come in 30 minutes early and do one basic strength move before the WOD. I do this a lot with my Crossfit athletes. I really like a simple rep scheme like 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 2 , 1 x 1 (and you can keep doing sets of 1 if the first set of 1 was too easy), gradually adding weight.

For example if your best push press is 180lbs would would do something like:

95lbs x 5 (warm-up)
115lbs x 5 (warm-up)
135lbs x 5 (warm-up)
150lbs x 5
155lbs x 4
160lbs x 3
165lbs x 2
170lbs x 1
175lbs x 1*
180lbs x 1*

*If the preceding set was solid

If you are doing your strength work on separate days you could do, this:

1. Ramp up to 2RM (in about 8 sets)
2. Perform 3-5 sets of 2 with 90% of the 2RM

3-4 sets of 4-6 reps


Thanks, CT. I plan on doing them on separate days, in which case, I'll have three days (T,THRSAT--don't have access to a gym on Sundays). Are there three movements you particularly recommend? Or would you recommend alternating the movements? My box doesn't post its WODs online, so I have no idea if we'll be focusing on a specific movement and hence, can't plan my lifts around the WODs.