CrossFit: Knees in or Out?

I’m not sure if I have already shared this blog post started by a well known Olympic Lifting coach Bob Takano about the practice of pushing your knees out when lifting.  It is an approach that gained popularity by Kelly Starrett of the awesome Mobility WOD site.  I am a huge fan of Kelly’s — no question — but his coaching advice about pushing your knees out has created a lot of issues and discord among well respected coaches.  The bottom line is they don’t agree with it as a coaching technique and that it causes more harm than help.

The consensus seems to be to not focus on pushing knees out, but to use the hips to get down the start position or bottom of the squat. Make sure you read Takano’s post and the follow ups that he has posted with a ton of comments and responses.

One voice that was missing from all the comments and responses was Kelly himself — and he has posted a video this month to address it – The Knees In Squat

I’m no coaching expert for sure –and can only go by my own experience. A few weeks ago, while doing my back squat – I was pushing my knees out and Coach Dan stopped me and asked me to do some no weight demos for him. My pelvis was tilting in when I was squatting and guess what? It was because I was focusing on pushing my knees out –and I didn’t need to push them out any further than they were naturally going.  Once I stopped focusing on that, no more pelvis tilt.

I think it’s awesome that these types of conversations are happening and think they should happen more often. How else can we all learn, share and progress? And we get to learn from some of the best coaches out there — all thanks to the Internet!

I had some PR success this week to share: I was able to complete 12 Strict Pull-ups earlier this week in 2 minutes– and this morning I was able to do 5×5 strict pull-ups. I have always thought that pull ups were a sign of some serious upper body strength because I wasn’t able to do even one years ago. I am just rocking along and loving it….

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