More Thoughts on Sissy Squats

  1. If the athletes are truly quad dominant and you want to initiate posterior chain strengthening, why spend so much time—weeks--on a quad dominant exercise? Let’s get to the point, the human body responds to appropriately applied overload.
  1. I am curious to know just how bad the posterior hip and ankle flexibility is in female middle distance/distance athletes—and thus the need for this drastic remediation. I would tend to think the opposite is true—that males are more prone to inflexibility. Just my experience with high school boys.
  1. Are the male middle distance runners asked to do this exercise or just the females? Is the macho bias of the collegiate weight room showing through with prescription of this particular exercise?

Reminds me of the George Carlin routine (weight room version):

On the MEN’S side of the weight room, we do: HACK SQUATS

On the girls’ side of the weight room, we do: sissy squats

On the MEN’S side of the weight room, we do: SKULL CRUSHERS

On the girls’ side of the weight room, we do: triceps kickbacks

You get my point, right? If this exercise is so great, at least CHANGE THE NAME so the women in the gym don’t have to put up with the HUMILIATION of doing “sissy” squats while everyone else is doing squats without some idiotic name. It’s like saying “you throw like a girl”—our expectations of you are so low, we have to make you do “sissy” work.

These women obviously know how to bust their ass on the track. In my experience, they are also willing to bust their ass in the gym. It might be a different type of work for them, but my guess is that they’ll learn to love it if you only give them the chance. My high school runner AJ has—all 116 lbs of her!

We don’t melt in the rain and we can hang with the guys in the gym if you let us. We might appreciate a more positive and rational explanation of what we are doing and why, than our male counterparts, but we aren’t motor morons. Please don’t automatically dumb us down or humiliate us with exercises and terms like “sissy” squats.


Anonymous said…
FYI: Sissy squats are named after the myth of King Sisyphus. He was sentenced to roll a boulder up a hill for all eternity. Every time he rolls it to the top, it rolls back down. Here is the kicker: he rolls it up facing backwards; just like a sissy squat. Nobody is saying sissy squats are for sissies. They are hard work and if anything, make sissies out of those determined enough to try them.
Tracy Fober said…
Okay. I get it.

But if they are so hard, why are they being used as remediation for people who supposedly cannot squat regularly? And shouldn't they be in everybody elses program, not just the distance women?

The sissy squats pictured in the T&C article don't appear to me to be of the effort an old school sissy squat is.

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