At least once a day I get an email, YouTube or Facebook
comment from some dude who wants to know what he
should do INSTEAD of squats or deadlifts.
Usually it comes from a guy how has been working out
but has recently experienced some pain, discomfort or
injury while doing squats, etc.
My answer is always…
Why the heck would I tell someone who is looking for
an alternative to squats – to do MORE squats?
Well, because I believe that in the realm of exercise and
movement – “If You Can’t… You MUST!”
What I mean is this…
For you to be The Strongest Version Of Yourself, you
had better be able to at least move efficiently within each
of what Paul Chek calls your “Primal Movement Patterns”.
That means you should be able to perform some variation
of the squat, bend, push, pull, twist, lunge and walk (or gait).
If you can’t perform these basic movements, then you are
in deep doo-doo and must work to bring yourself up to the
So, what about guys who have pain or discomfort when
doing these movements?
Well, that goes back to what I said yesterday… If you can’t
perform an exercise, its not the exercise’s fault – It’s YOUR
And you had better find a way to get your self moving
The best way to re-educate the neuromuscular system and
dissolve faulty recruitment patterns is by chunking the
exercise down into smaller workable parts.
The squat is made up for the following “chunks”:
Hip Flexion / Extension
Knee Flexion / Extension
Ankle Flexion / Extension
If you find that your abilities within any single one of the
chunks described above is deficient, then you need to back
off the squat pattern and work on the chunk.
So, for a guy who always seems to lean forward too far in
his squat thus creating pain within the lower back…. usually
his Ankle Flexion is deficient.
You know this because when he squats his ankles keep a
90 degree right angle. This restriction at the ankle is
compensated for by the excessive flexion of the hips, creating
a forward lean that stresses out the low back.
Our friend needs to fix the Ankle Flexion chunk by stretching
his Achilles Tendon and Soleus every day AND before each
set of squats.
Look, I want to see you succeed…
And the ONLY person that can make that happen is you!
That means you need to have at least a basic understanding of
anatomy and biomechanics so that you can analyze your
movements and make corrections as needed.
A skill like this will save you months of wasted gains, and
perhaps thousands on wasted doctor bills.
That is why I invite you to invest in courses like Rick Kaselj’s
Fix My Knee Pain home study kit.
Rick is the kind of “Strength Geek” that you want to learn from
when arming yourself with knowledge for growth.
Even if you don’t have knee pain now, it may be wise to learn
what causes biomechanical failure, how to spot it in others and
the best ways to fix it.
Its a skill that every athlete, coach or bodybuilder should know.