Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Hey Folks!

Nice cleans today!  Snappy hips, quick elbows – you guys made it look good!

There has been a lot of random arguing over the “knees out” cue, and Kelly Starrett’s prescription in “Becoming a Supple Leopard” to push the knees out as far as possible (so long as your spine, feet and ankles are solid).  I understand what Kelly is trying to say and his goal.  Cure people of their floppy baby deer knees and they’ll be happier squatters.  BUT, is there a time when pushing the knees out is bad?  For some reason KStarr avoids answering this question EVERY time he’s asked it.  For many, if the knees are tracking above the ankles then there is no need to tell that person “knees out” because they’re already in a sound position.  Kelly believes driving the feet down, hips forward and knees out will “generate more torque” through the hips.  This is also just a complicated way of saying “stand up” with the bar.  People are overcomplicating this.  Think of it like a checklist:

  • Feet stay flat throughout the squat pressing down through heels, pads of the feet and big toes
  • torso remains as upright as possible throughout movement (this may change a bit with low bar back squatters)
  • Knees remain over the ankles/inline with the toes throughout the entire squat
  • Hips and chest raise together (no stripper butt)

That’s all you need to know/do.  If you aren’t fulfilling all of those things, you could be improving your squat.  If you’re outside of those points, that’s not a good thing.  Knees in OR out of these planes is bad.  Being on the inside OR outside of your feet is bad.  Rounding in your spine OR overextending is bad.  Staring at the ceiling OR the floor is bad.

MOST importantly – there is NO. ONE. WAY.  Anyone who tells you there’s only one way to do something is lying to you or they just don’t know what they’re talking about.  There is occasionally a BEST way to do something, but there is always more than one way.  Everyone has different limb lengths, torso lengths, joint shape/structure, athletic background, metabolic milieus, etc.  This means that some can maintain a VERY upright posture while squatting while others can’t.  You just need to constantly strive to achieve the best positioning your anatomy and practice will allow.

SO to end it, if your knees are collapsing in, then “knees out” is viable and appropriate cue.  If they’re already over your ankles and staying stably there, there is NO benefit to pushing them out further.  Sorry for writing this much about this, but this darn debate has been going on for TOO long (in the CrossFit/Weightlifting/Interwebz worlds) and it’s full of silliness on both sides.

NOW then…. onto the workout!

Warm up

2 Rounds – 10 dislocates, 10 band pulls, 10 hops, 30 second Russian Baby Maker




1.  Metcon
1,000m Row
30 HPC, 135/95
30 C2B Pull ups
2.  EMOMx10
Odd:  7 Push Press (from rack, you choose weight) + 7 Box Jumps, 24/20 – games standards
Even:  7 TTB + 7 Burpees to target


Pull ups 10×3 (Chest to bar if you can do them, feel free to kip if you can do a strict pull-up, if not, do them strict with a band)

Double Unders 10 sets of 10 unbroken if you can, accumulate 100 if you can’t.

8 Minute AMRAP:
12 Lunges
12 Hand Release Push ups
12 KB swings

Stretch – Glutes, Hamstrings, Lats
Foam Roll – T-spine

See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team