The Diagnostic Power of a Squat

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This is Jill Ketchum, one of my fellow runner/CrossFitters at CrossFit Elysium. She has become an unbreakable runner.

Here’s a memory: When I was in high school I used to squat with heavy weights two or three times per week. It was part of my preparation for high school football. But the memory is a slightly ugly one, because these are some defining characteristics of my technique:

1. My knees collapsed inward.

2. It was more like a quarter-squat than a half-squat, and surely not a full squat.

3. I doubt I did anything to brace my spine with a tight core.

And I’m sure there were other technique flaws as well. Decades later and thanks to CrossFit coaches, I not only learned how to squat safely, but effectively, and I’ve learned first-hand that it is a powerful full-body functional exercise that has tremendous positive impact.

In a story I wrote recently for Stack.com, I talk about some of the value I’ve picked up on.

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In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, and whether CrossFit can fix his broken body.

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