T Nation

Letting the Knees Cave In

I notice that some weightlifters (including one in the place I train) let their knees cave in in the bottom position of the snatch and c&j like this:

http://www.beijingolympicsfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/img214533279.jpg

Not a good example but that pretty much illustrates it. If you do this you can pretty much touch the platform with your butt (I think it’s illegal). I wonder if they do it unconsciously or not. Health concern aside, any of you do it?

I tend to do it on the snatch due to ankle inflexibility on the right foot, due to a sprain.

you aren’t allowed to touch the platform with any part of your body except your feet.

sometimes if i don’t finish the pull properly i land a bit forwards on my toes in the catch. sometimes i actually lose my balance forwards and end up (gently!) on one or both knees. I wonder if a bit of that is what is going on? i don’t think it is intentional. think something went a bit wrong with the pull and they are just doing their best to catch and stabilize the weight.

[quote]alexus wrote:
you aren’t allowed to touch the platform with any part of your body except your feet.

sometimes if i don’t finish the pull properly i land a bit forwards on my toes in the catch. sometimes i actually lose my balance forwards and end up (gently!) on one or both knees. I wonder if a bit of that is what is going on? i don’t think it is intentional. think something went a bit wrong with the pull and they are just doing their best to catch and stabilize the weight.[/quote]

Yeah that could be one reason, though you can still be perfectly stable but still let you knees cave in (I don’t know why you would intentionally do it though, maybe so you can get down lower?). Some more pics:




http://www.siprep.org/athletics/healthy/images/melanie-79-6_001.jpg

You would not do this intentionally.

This usually happens to people who split too wide/ the weight is too heavy. Long term it won’t be great for the knees such as squating heavy for 40yrs won’t be great for your knees also!

Koing

ah.

with those links…

i thought they were good.

i’m used to seeing side angles of squatting (thinking about the bar being balanced over the midfoot.

seeing the 3/4 or front on angle makes squats look weird to me.

their knees come forwards a lot from their toes, huh.

i think that is what they need to do to get the bar over their midfoot.

wish i could do it.

[quote]Koing wrote:
You would not do this intentionally.

This usually happens to people who split too wide/ the weight is too heavy. Long term it won’t be great for the knees such as squating heavy for 40yrs won’t be great for your knees also!

Koing[/quote]

Yeah I thought so.

[quote]alexus wrote:
ah.

with those links…

i thought they were good.

i’m used to seeing side angles of squatting (thinking about the bar being balanced over the midfoot.

seeing the 3/4 or front on angle makes squats look weird to me.

their knees come forwards a lot from their toes, huh.

i think that is what they need to do to get the bar over their midfoot.

wish i could do it.[/quote]

In case I haven’t made myself clear, it’s the medial/inward movement of the knees which by many people advised to be avoided because of the potential injury to the knees (and perhaps to the ankles too).

[quote]Paperclip wrote:

[quote]Koing wrote:
You would not do this intentionally.

This usually happens to people who split too wide/ the weight is too heavy. Long term it won’t be great for the knees such as squating heavy for 40yrs won’t be great for your knees also!

Koing[/quote]

Yeah I thought so.

[quote]alexus wrote:
ah.

with those links…

i thought they were good.

i’m used to seeing side angles of squatting (thinking about the bar being balanced over the midfoot.

seeing the 3/4 or front on angle makes squats look weird to me.

their knees come forwards a lot from their toes, huh.

i think that is what they need to do to get the bar over their midfoot.

wish i could do it.[/quote]

In case I haven’t made myself clear, it’s the medial/inward movement of the knees which by many people advised to be avoided because of the potential injury to the knees (and perhaps to the ankles too).[/quote]

The first image is a lot worse then the others. The others it’s primarily down to the width of their feet position.

Koing

[quote]Paperclip wrote:
I notice that some weightlifters (including one in the place I train) let their knees cave in in the bottom position of the snatch and c&j like this:

http://www.beijingolympicsfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/img214533279.jpg

Not a good example but that pretty much illustrates it. If you do this you can pretty much touch the platform with your butt (I think it’s illegal). I wonder if they do it unconsciously or not. Health concern aside, any of you do it? [/quote]

You also have to distinguish between gym lifts and competition lifts. While you’re training you want to keep optimal form, while during a maximal attempt you might have other priorities.
(Inb4 Capt’N Obvious).

They’re not intentionally letting their knees caved, that’s a position of less power generation, but it can be useful for force acceptance and deceleration (eccentric) before setup for the push.

It’s just the difference between ideal and max effort. I’m sure if you can complete a 200kg squat then watching yourself do 100kg or 200kg you’d find drastic form differences even though you’re trying to maintain form. Bicep curls to deadlifts it’s the same.

Dave Tate has some succinct but great quote about it that I can’t remember. Essentially though it should be about protecting yourself and being able to lift continuously for progress and then from time to time you have ball-to-the-wall lifts (like the olympics) where it’s only about making the lift no matter what. For these, for me, I’m maintaining form so I can lift next week… if I’ve trained for four years to be on stage for an hour or two and get a medal… I’m not going to worry too much about my knees caving a little :slight_smile:

Also … I wouldn’t try and mimic world-class athletes too much, they have flexibility, strength, coaches, physio and everything else that most of us can only ever dream of. Protect yourself and train week in, week out, and you’ll see progress :slight_smile:

I do this occasionally but not on purpose. Like Koing said it’s because I go too wide.

So apparently it’s caused by going too wide. I think that makes sense.

[quote]ozzyaaron wrote:
They’re not intentionally letting their knees caved, that’s a position of less power generation, but it can be useful for force acceptance and deceleration (eccentric) before setup for the push.

It’s just the difference between ideal and max effort. I’m sure if you can complete a 200kg squat then watching yourself do 100kg or 200kg you’d find drastic form differences even though you’re trying to maintain form. Bicep curls to deadlifts it’s the same.

Dave Tate has some succinct but great quote about it that I can’t remember. Essentially though it should be about protecting yourself and being able to lift continuously for progress and then from time to time you have ball-to-the-wall lifts (like the olympics) where it’s only about making the lift no matter what. For these, for me, I’m maintaining form so I can lift next week… if I’ve trained for four years to be on stage for an hour or two and get a medal… I’m not going to worry too much about my knees caving a little :slight_smile:

Also … I wouldn’t try and mimic world-class athletes too much, they have flexibility, strength, coaches, physio and everything else that most of us can only ever dream of. Protect yourself and train week in, week out, and you’ll see progress :)[/quote]

Indeed mate.

Have you seen my last squat video, pretty crazy…the buckling and form on my FS is savage at limit…a grinder, back rounds forwards but because I’m strong I can hold it…not ideal…but at less weight my form is much better. Oh well I’ll sort it out later. When I can FS 240, 200 will look ‘perfect’.

Koing

Knee cave?

I thought this was about as perfect a bottom position as one could hope for.

Same girl, different angle.
(Different lift, I think)

Is she too wide???

I’m not seeing knee cave… Unless you mean that their knees are coming forwards in front of their toes…

In the last pic there’s not much caving. Imagine seeing from above a person squatting with their knees caving in, you can see their feet (they should be covered by the thighs in “normal” squat because the knees track the toes).

[quote]alexus wrote:
Same girl, different angle.
(Different lift, I think)

Is she too wide???

I’m not seeing knee cave… Unless you mean that their knees are coming forwards in front of their toes…[/quote]

Looks fine to me. Nothing too wide about that and if she is really wide it’s only a problem if she fails a lot of lifts. Some lifters go wider then others, others really narrow. It’s no big deal imo as long as they make lifts and don’t injure themselves.

Knees arne’t buckling in badly so it’s okay!

Koing

[quote]ozzyaaron wrote:
They’re not intentionally letting their knees caved, that’s a position of less power generation, but it can be useful for force acceptance and deceleration (eccentric) before setup for the push.

[/quote]

I think the knees cave because they are going from a weak to a stronger position, i.e. they have really strong quads, but otherwise I agree with what you’re saying. You see all kinds of terrible things that shouldn’t be emulated when watching max lifts.