T Nation

Squat Bounce vs Tendon Stretch


#1

I dont mean to make a repost, but I was reading a few previous posts on bouncing squats and I didnt want to bump posts from 2006 back up to the top for no reason. I am also not sure if the question is 100% the same as the old threads also.

I am doing SS for overall size and strength. When I squat I start the movement with my hips moving back keeping my head parallel to the wall and my chest up. At the bottom, without compromising my back being arched, I try to pull my knees to my shoulders and then right at the bottom I, with no stop, move the weight back up as quickly as my toothpick legs can muster. Sometimes it feels like I bounce a bit, and a couple times my knees have cracked (like knuckles) but never painful and they do that when I sit on my feet/kneel (not sure what you call that) or when I get down like a catcher when throwing.

My question is, what is the difference between bouncing the squat, and taking advantage of the stretch from your posterior chain muscles (not sure if this is the correct group that stretches either as squat and deadlift anatomy is a bit messy for me at times with flexors and adductors and extensors and whatever else you want to throw in there) at the bottom of the lift?

Also, is this bad for my knees?

I am not dive bombing out of control. Hips back, down under control, pull knees up, push out of bottom.

Thanks for your time and effort. Again sorry about this being a potential repost.

-Zep


#2

i've heard 'catching the bounce' used in 3 ways:

1) using the stretch reflex (as you said)

that is meant to be good form. hitting depth with a full range of motion.

2) smashing your meaty calves into your meaty hamstrings

that is meant to fuck up your knees over time.

3) in the snatch or clean if you haul your ass down underneath the bar it will land on you and bounce back - you time your drive out the hole with the bounce so the momentum helps you

you won't get as strong if you dive bomb your squats in this way. some people say it fucks their knees but that might be because 2) happens to them before 1) does.

i heard cracking and popping doesn't matter. unless there is pain. if there is pain it matters. otherwise, just turn up your i-pod if it bugs you.


#3

Im not so worried about the popping, but I want to make sure I am not cheating by going too far. I know it sounds wierd because most people dont go far enough. Also, I wouldnt call any part of my legs meaty. I am only repping ~200 right now.

Is there a good way to tell the difference?

-Zep


#4

You said you might be going too far down, and the biggest concern from doing this is rounding your lower back. Just go an inch or two below parallel and get strong in that position. There's no need to go ATG, if anything it's stupid for most people as they don't have the flexibility for that. But from my experience, if you haven't felt any knee pain from what you're doing than you're probably doing fine. It's usually pretty obvious if you're doing something wrong because your knees will start acting up. No, using the stretch reflex isn't cheating. If anything you may be cheating yourself out of a heavier squat by NOT using the stretch reflex.


#5

yup, keep your lumbar arch or you are asking for a spinal injury sooner or later.

pause squats (pause in the hole for a couple seconds then power up) eliminate the stretch reflex bounce. they are brutal. they will build you some strong legs, though.

some people think that you get the most benefits from going as low as you can go (while maintaining lumbar arch).

other people think there can be benefits to training a partial range of motion.

powerlifters only need to break parallel - so they obviously don't aim to get any lower. but then they also sit their ass well back in a way that makes the natural bottom of their squat higher. ideally for their purposes... just below parallel...

depends a bit on what your aims are and what you have been doing and whether you want to mix things up a bit or whether you should stick to your program because you are still making gains...

take side on vids. post them up. most people who squat well below parallel are sacrificing their lumbar arch, tis true.


#6

Will do some time soon. Definately before the weights start getting heavy.

-Zep