Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dr. Weesner Gets Her Mojo Back

The weekend workshop with Mike Burgener was a tremendous success. I think everyone learned something new. One of the highlights of the weekend--besides Orie's outstanding lunch--was watching Kathy Weesner successfully front squat. All these super-long femurs needed were a few more degrees of ankle dorsiflexion to help the rest of the body accomplish the task.

More on the weekend soon.


Chris Cleary said...

Looking forward to more info about your O-lift weekend. Regarding title of blog and the contents, "...super long femurs..." Can you define that? How long is too long? Is there a ratio w.r.t the tibia? A ratio w.r.t height? If so, from where does one measure the femur to get it established if it is extra long or short or just right? I'm just looking to eliminate my excuses (or work around them).

The Iron Maven said...

Hmmm...Chris, can't really define it right now. Maybe John Garhammer would have some definitive limb segment ratio data for effective squatting/weightlifting. This individual had super long femurs AND tibias, in comparison to her torso.
For most coaches, this will just be something they learn to see over time, with experience. .

Chris said...

AC Fry et al. did two studies (1988 and 1991) where they examined the effects of stature variables on the ability to maintain heel contact during a parallel barbell squat with a 20kg bar across the top of the trapezius. In the first study, they used 50 males from a physical education class and determined that the ability to maintain heel contact was largely dependent upon height (36% of explained variance), torso length (33%), sit & reach Flexibility (9.3%), femur length (8.8%), and ankle flexibility (6.9%). They followed up this study looking specifically at females (n=26) and determined that femur length determined 49% while torso length explained 29.8%. Standing height was attributed to 0.8%.

In the second study, they chose not to evaluate flexibility since it was attributed to so little of the explained variance in the original study.

While this data does not offer established norms per se, it does offer some evidence that there is something to the notion that structural variables should be considered in one's ability to perform squatting activities.

Personally, I don't feel that either of the methodologies of these studies was extremely well done, but it's the only bit of evidence that I've seen on this question. More work is needed in this area.

Anthropometric research probably doesn't pull the heavy funding that other types of research does, but I think it definitely has its place. Hopefully, researchers will pursue this more in the future.

Fry, AC et al. Stature and flexibility variables as discriminators of foot contact during the squat exercise. Journal of Applied Sport Science Research 2(2): 24-26, 1988.

Fry, AC et al. Stature variables as discriminators of foot contact during the squat exercise in untrained females. Journal of Applied Sport Science Research 5(2): 77-81, 1991.