1/19/17 - The Sneaky Knee Fault
The Box Squat is a tremendous posterior chain building exercise and a very safe way to learn about squatting mechanics. Box Squats look similar to a back squat with a pause in a seated position on a box. There is a big difference between a box squat and a back squat and this is shin angle in relation to the floor. Due to body mechanics and hip/knee/ankle function the knee must come forward in a traditional back squat unlike a box squat the knee stays above the ankle. In a box squat the goal is to pause during the change of direction with the knee above the ankle or slightly behind the ankle. This would put the shin at a vertical angle to the ground when the lift goes from eccentric to concentric, thus achieving a much greater stretch of the hamstrings.
I like to think of the box squat a three part movement. There is the controlled eccentric portion, in which the hips are pushed back into the glutes, stretching the hamstrings, while driving the knees outwards over the feet. There is the pause portion of the lift where the athlete sits on the box retaining tension in the glutes, hamstrings, abs, and maintains the arch in their low back. When the athlete gets to this position, relaxing your hip flexors is the order of the day. This is not a touch and go situation, or a time to relax position. The athlete’s body is held constant for a moment in time, then explosively reverse the process they just used to get down. Drive feet apart and pull shoulders back to return to standing. “Static overcome by Dynamic Force” is what we are after. This is where the juice is in this exercise.
When the athlete breaks contact with the box knees should not move forward. Shifting your knees forward moves the work to the athletes quads and mutes the effect of the box squat. Keeping the posterior chain loaded, pulling the shoulders back and driving the hips forward is a different animal. If tension is broken on the box at the bottom this sneaky knee fault tends to creep in.
The goal of the box squat is development of the posterior chain and the hip complex. Be careful of this sneaky fault. Do your part to end quad dominance. Throw box squatting in to your routine. Start light and move well. Box squatting is about strength, but it is also about flexibility. Position wins every time.
Find a 5RM Barbell Goodmorning
Then, complete the following for time: