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  1. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 11:06am


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    Horse Stance / Bodyweight Squat Videos

    We've had countless threads arguing over the utility of the horse stance. I would very much like this not to be another one. Instead, for those of you who feel that this movement is a useful conditioning exercise, I offer Crossfit guy Dr Garrett Smith's instructional videos on progessive training for the bodyweight squat ("one of the most fundamental exercises for the lower body").

    First, a demonstration of correct form:

    YouTube - Cross Fitness Lower Body Exercises : How to Do an Air Squat Exercise

    ... which is basically this:



    Then some remedial work for getting to the full air squat without injury, including the isometric 'Wall Sit':

    YouTube - Cross Fitness Lower Body Exercises : How to Do a Wall Squat Exercise: Part 1

    Lastly, the 'Wall Squat' which is a bodyweight squat conducted facing a wall to help promote proper form, especially as regards foot vs knee position:

    YouTube - Cross Fitness Lower Body Exercises : How to Do a Wall Squat Exercise: Part 2

    These videos represent the best, and most concise, instruction for this exercise that I've seen on the web. My personal trainer, physical therapist and sports medicine doctor are all in accord: this exercise is excellent pre-hab for anyone competing in combat sports. Do with it what you will.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
  2. Diesel_tke is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 11:43am

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    These body squats are awesome. The funny thing is that, no matter how much I tell people, they still won't do them.

    Have you ever seen the "hindu squats" that Matt Furey does? He swings the arms the opposite way. I don't know why he does it that way. Anny comments on his version?
  3. Diesel_tke is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 11:49am

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    YouTube - Full Hindu Squat - visit www.power-fitness.info

    I've done both ways. I like the cross fit version that you posted first. I'm just wondering what the reason behind the hindu squats is.
  4. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 1:18pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by diesel_tke View Post
    Have you ever seen the "hindu squats" that Matt Furey does? Any comments on his version?
    In terms of mechanical differences, the flat footed version involves greater ankle dorsiflexion/calf flexibility -- though supplementing with the"Hindu Squat" with the "Hindu Pushup" cycle's Downward Dog makes up for that -- and feels a little weaker in terms of hip recruitment. The standard bodyweight squat is a better prep exercise for the heel drive needed to do heavy squats (never squat heavy with heels up). The Hindu ones might be hard on the meniscus, but I think the jury is still out on that. That's all I know.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
  5. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 3:10pm

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    No, this is not your Grand Master's horse stance.

    Please (TMAers in general) do not say this is what you use it for, I will lock the thread. Unless, you use it in the exact way it is described, your horse stance in a form doesn't equal these videos.
  6. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 3:20pm

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    what i have been contemplating is the "ass out" vs. "hips tucked under" variation between the way both hung ga and bagua/xing yi people have instructed me to do this movement (even when squatting, not just in horse stance.)

    the argument being that sticking the ass out actually compresses the lower spine, and that the movement is possible with the hips tucked instead, without driving the knees over the toes and endangering the knees (which i am assuming is the primary motivation for the "ass out" squat.

    any opinions?
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
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  7. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 5:11pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    what i have been contemplating is the "ass out" vs. "hips tucked under" variation [ ... ] any opinions?
    I've always been taught to keep a natural spinal curve. If you can't get into a thighs-parallel-to-the-ground bodyweight squat with a natural spine and your knees over your feet, it's probably indicative of a flexibility problem.

    Tim Cartmell, who literally wrote the book on ICMA power training methods, put it this way on a recent Shen Wu forum thread:

    There are curves in the spine for a reason, trying to flatten the lower back will only reduce one's power output and potentially set one up for injury. The spine should be lengthened from the crown of the head and allowed to maintain its natural alignment. The lower back should not be over-arched nor flattened.

    [ ... and ... ]

    To clarify, I advocate relaxing the lower back, there is a slight release at the "ming men" point and the tailbone feels as if it drops slightly so the pelvis feels as if it's "floating." The crown of the head feels as if it's lifting away from the torso, so there is an overall lengthening of the spine.
    Which is to say: don't tuck it or stick it out, instead try to keep it released and natural through the full range of motion. The same notes apply to yoga's Awkward Chair Pose. I'd try to find you a good profile shot of a CMA guy doing the exercise with a natural spine, but IIF'd be mad at me for using a TMA image. :smile:

    Also, I should probably note that there's a variation modern wushu performers use that involves a much wider stance. This is a good preparatory exercise for doing full splits, as illustrated in Thomas Kurz's Scientific Stretching:


    (feet five "steps" apart)


    (feet seven "steps" apart)
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
  8. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 6:24pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    I've always been taught to keep a natural spinal curve. If you can't get into a thighs-parallel-to-the-ground bodyweight squat with a natural spine and your knees over your feet, it's probably indicative of a flexibility problem...

    <snip>

    Which is to say: don't tuck it or stick it out, instead try to keep it released and natural through the full range of motion. The same notes apply to yoga's Awkward Chair Pose. I'd try to find you a good profile shot of a CMA guy doing the exercise with a natural spine, but IIF'd be mad at me for using a TMA image. :smile:
    i guess the only thing i would ask would be if you agree that in the crossfit videos they are making an effort to stick their asses out and arch the spine.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  9. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 6:27pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post


    Which is to say: don't tuck it or stick it out, instead try to keep it released and natural through the full range of motion. The same notes apply to yoga's Awkward Chair Pose. I'd try to find you a good profile shot of a CMA guy doing the exercise with a natural spine, but IIF'd be mad at me for using a TMA image. :smile:
    Actually I'd love to see one to further said discussion, as you would post it for information purposes.
  10. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/22/2009 6:40pm

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    In a CMA context, when I've done horse stance it's been a static isometric exercise. With the ass tucked in.

    I've also done a partner exercise where you do slow squats carrying their weight on your back.

    Bodyweight squats as in the video I've done just as general muscular endurance & cardio outside of a CMA context.
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