Chalk Talk – #1 – Squat Knee Control

During the Q&A a week or so ago, some members were asking for a regularly updated “show” on YouTube (since they are the cool thing to do in the fitness-sphere).

In episode #1 I’m talking about knee control in the squat. A common problem with squatting is that trainees don’t have control of what their knees are doing because their external hip rotators — particularly the glutes — are not trained to maintain tension throughout the movement. In this video I show one of my wife’s front squat sets where you can see when she actively engages the external rotators and when she does not. Her case is specific: she had a long term hip injury and front squats focused on this glute activation have been the rehab. Don’t focus on my cues as I’m trying more so to talk to the camera than her, but also the cues she and I have for this issue are vague because she understands what she is supposed to do after we spent a lot of time teaching her what “correct” felt like.

In any case, this is the first episode of Chalk Talk. Discuss in the comments and feel free to request new topics.

12 thoughts on “Chalk Talk – #1 – Squat Knee Control

  1. I have to be honest, most of the time when a content creator switches from written posts to videos or podcasts I’m disappointed. I can read a written post way faster than most people can talk, or (if I’m in a hurry) I can speed through it and get the major points, but there’s no way to do that with a podcast.

    The video format really works for you though. There are some things you just have to see to understand.

    • I’m not entirely shifting, but writing posts — especially good, entertaining ones — is time consuming. In a video I can articulate information in a couple of minutes and edit the post in a few more.

      I’ll keep writing when I have the time.

  2. Oh hey you got married. Congratulations! I think she was featured in a video a few years ago and referred to as “girlfriend.” Well done.

    I’m pumped for Chalk Talk. While some training topics can be covered more efficiently written out with a diagram or two, it’s a physical activity after all, so videos are great.

    How about one about training while traveling for business? I think you did a post about this a few years ago. I travel five or six times a year for work. Occasionally I can make it to a gym in whatever city I’m in, other times I’m confined to shitty hotel gyms that usually only have a few dumbbells and treadmills. Suggestions on training to maintain strength when barbells are not available would be awesome.

  3. Great post. I’ve had surgery on both hips (FAI), and I am slowly getting back to training so this will definitely help. Do you advocate glute bridges and/or hip thrusts for strengthening the glute med, specifically from a rehab standpoint?

    • I would recommend them in the case of rehab or hip development. I’ve had her do those things, particularly things that’ll get some activation out of the glute medius like simple lying hip abduction — these are virtually worthless for non-rehabbing people, but getting some reps with hip complexes like this can be beneficial for prehab/rehab.

      Glute bridges are good for people like this too, especially when they focus on the external rotation while performing them. Someone like you should do stuff like this regularly in conjunction with your strength training and mobility work.

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  6. If you’d like some perspective about lifting while traveling I might have some. I’m an airline pilot and spent 155 nights in various hotels last year. I make it a point to not lift in hotel gyms unless I’m deloading or just doing mobility work/active rest stuff. I’ve had good luck and have visited great (and terrible) gyms all around the country. Let me know if I can be of service.

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