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My Take on "Squats'
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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09-16-2019, 06:36 PM
 
Hello Everyone,

I've been asked in an e-mail about a recent posting by Matt Furey relating to the issue of Hindu squats and their safety and benefits as opposed to liabilities.

First off, with all due respect to Mr. Furey, I haven't read anything written by him in years. I do my own research and writing and have my own sources that I trust that often go way back to the origins of the Physical Culture Movement in the USA. I also had a friendship with Dr. Lawrence E Morrehouse whom I considered to be a worlds preeminent expert in the realm of exercise physiology.

The question I was asked in the email was whether or not I agree with Matt Furey about whether or not it's safe to do squats with one's knees extending over one's toes when one goes down into a full squat.

My answer:

Personally, I don't know how anyone could do a full squat of any type without knees extending over toes. As relates to safety, I do Atlas Balance squats every day while wearing a weight vest. My ankles are touching and feet are forming a "V". I squat down going from flat foot to 'up on toes' as I reach the bottom of the squat and then go back to flat foot when I rise. The reason I do this is because of the way it shapes the entire leg structure. I learned this from a man that had been a professional ballet dancer that had truly exceptional leg development and also happened to be an excellent martial artist whom I sparred with back in the late 70s when I was a martial arts instructor.

As relates to 'Hindu squats' I used to do 300 in 9 to 12 minutes (9 without a weight vest) it was excellent cardio and I can't remember ever having an issue with my knees as a result. One thing that I do think is asking for trouble is when you squat with a heavy barbell on your shoulders. It is literally impossible to have a heavy barbell across your shoulders and to not compress your lower back or to overstress the ligaments surrounding the knee cap. That is just a reality. One other detail that I have always been aware of since very young was reading that Vince Gironda didn't have squat racks in his gym because he believed they would widen the hips and overdevelop the glutes and worst of all cause distension of the abdomen thereby detracting from the all-around aesthetics of one's physique.

Bottom line: If you are going to do squats you should do them freehand or with a weight vest that is just heavy enough to enhance the cardiovascular effect when bench stepping. Believe me, bench stepping you will breathe harder.

---John Peterson

 
 
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bennyb bennyb is offline
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09-24-2019, 06:38 PM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Peterson View Post
Hello Everyone,

I've been asked in an e-mail about a recent posting by Matt Furey relating to the issue of Hindu squats and their safety and benefits as opposed to liabilities.

First off, with all due respect to Mr. Furey, I haven't read anything written by him in years. I do my own research and writing and have my own sources that I trust that often go way back to the origins of the Physical Culture Movement in the USA. I also had a friendship with Dr. Lawrence E Morrehouse whom I considered to be a worlds preeminent expert in the realm of exercise physiology.

The question I was asked in the email was whether or not I agree with Matt Furey about whether or not it's safe to do squats with one's knees extending over one's toes when one goes down into a full squat.

My answer:

Personally, I don't know how anyone could do a full squat of any type without knees extending over toes. As relates to safety, I do Atlas Balance squats every day while wearing a weight vest. My ankles are touching and feet are forming a "V". I squat down going from flat foot to 'up on toes' as I reach the bottom of the squat and then go back to flat foot when I rise. The reason I do this is because of the way it shapes the entire leg structure. I learned this from a man that had been a professional ballet dancer that had truly exceptional leg development and also happened to be an excellent martial artist whom I sparred with back in the late 70s when I was a martial arts instructor.

As relates to 'Hindu squats' I used to do 300 in 9 to 12 minutes (9 without a weight vest) it was excellent cardio and I can't remember ever having an issue with my knees as a result. One thing that I do think is asking for trouble is when you squat with a heavy barbell on your shoulders. It is literally impossible to have a heavy barbell across your shoulders and to not compress your lower back or to overstress the ligaments surrounding the knee cap. That is just a reality. One other detail that I have always been aware of since very young was reading that Vince Gironda didn't have squat racks in his gym because he believed they would widen the hips and overdevelop the glutes and worst of all cause distension of the abdomen thereby detracting from the all-around aesthetics of one's physique.

Bottom line: If you are going to do squats you should do them freehand or with a weight vest that is just heavy enough to enhance the cardiovascular effect when bench stepping. Believe me, bench stepping you will breathe harder.

---John Peterson



It all depends a person's size and shape as well when you do certain exercises. Some work while others don't for some people. If you're planning to wear a weight vest to do a bodyweight exercise, you don't need to wear one if you're over 200 lbs. Just the weight of a person alone can have certain strength effects when it comes to that person's bodyweight. If you want a comparison, John's at 155-162 lbs and will do several hundred squats or other exercises in various sets but with a weight vest up to say 50-60, that will humble you no matter how you look at it but for someone like me, I'm 260+ lbs yet can do 500 Hindu Squats and without a weight vest. If I wore one the size of John's vests that would take me to well over 300 lbs and wouldn't need to do that many reps.

Never had problems with Hindu Squats and with the knees over the toes, it's actually a nice stretch. It is important however to learn what your body can handle and do exercises that don't cause pain no matter the variation. I can guarantee you if someone like John even attempted 500 Hindu Squats the way I do them with a vest that gets him to his bodyweight would take a toll on him and he's a fit man.

Jowett was a great advocate of physical culture in his time and so was swoboda but one was at good at weights, one wasn't and it makes no sense to compare the two. Their philosophies have similarities but Jowett had more experience with weights and swoboda advocated muscle control.
 
 
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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09-26-2019, 01:31 PM
 
Hey Benny,

I agree with what you're stating but I don't do hundreds of reps of anything at this point. That is why I started to use a weight vest, along with Isometric Contraction. As I have often pointed out there are a huge number of set and repetition schemes that all have merit depending on what it is that someone wants to accomplish.

I was contacted by a wrestling coach and he was making some of the same observations that you have stated. He was pointing to one of the wrestlers on his team that happens to weigh over 300 pounds going into his senior year. Needless to say, there are some huge young men in high schools these days. The coach's point to me was that his wrestler doesn't need anything additional other than his current body weight to get a very thorough workout. I agreed but I also told him that where I really saw it advantageous would be with some of the lighter wrestlers that could use the weight on Push-Ups, Dips, Squats & Pull-Ups to enhance strength without adding appreciably to their body weight. I'm talking about the vest only for the bodyweight strengthening exercises that if a young man could work up to performing the same exercises and reps with 20% more weight exactly where he wants it, that it might be an advantage. He agreed from that perspective provided it didn't slow their reaction time for wrestling. I had to admit that he had a point there. I guess there is only one way to find out.

My main point though was that for someone that wants to maximize the effectiveness of bodyweight exercises in terms of maximizing their bodybuilding potential I personally think a weight vest makes great sense because you're simply making your body heavier with very specific placement of the additional weight. I was thinking especially about when I was a kid on the Charles Atlas Course. Rather than continually adding repetitions as I did, I think I could have had even more extraordinary results if once I had gotten to 200 reps on each of the 8- Perpetual Lesson ( WEEK THIRTEEN) exercises I had started with a 10 to 20-pound vest and worked back up to the 200 reps on each exercise and kept it up until I maxed out with a weight vest equivalent to 20 to 25% of my body weight. I think the bodybuilding potential of such a scheme could have been amazing. As it was, Charles Atlas did not offer a way of maximizing development other than to increase the number of repetitions. I think Atlas's exercises with more intensity rather than more volume would have worked like a dream. BUT this is conjecture only. I have no proof.

---John Peterson
 
 
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09-27-2019, 10:07 PM
 
Here is a great video that will explain how limb lengths play into body positioning. Watch this and you will see how some might ruin their knees with squat and others not. Especially with heavy weights placed on ones back.

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