Regardless of what the problem is, the answer is to squat.
-Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder

air squatIt all starts with the squat.  It is the first of CrossFit’s nine foundational movements and the first one we teach in Foundations.  You back squat, front squat, overhead squat.  You squat in wall ball, thrusters, box jumps, and many other movements in your workouts.
As Glassman writes in an early CF Journal document, “Most of the world’s inhabitants sit not on chairs but in a squat. Meals, ceremonies, conversation, gatherings, and defecation are all performed bereft of chairs or seats. Only in the industrialized world do we find the need for chairs, couches, benches and stools.  This comes at a loss of functionality that contributes immensely to decrepitude.”
Starting Monday and progressing through the week we are going to hyper-focus on mastering the most basic of human movements; the air squat.  None of us has a perfect squat but we are all going to work to improve position, muscle activation, awareness and mobility.
Much of what we know and teach about the squat – specifically The Loading Sequence and squat mobility exercises – comes from Dr. Kelly Starrett, a doctor of physical therapy, owner of San Francisco CrossFit, founder of and author of the best-selling Becoming a Supple Leopard.  (I have also read his book Ready to Run, which I highly recommend for runners and novice runners alike.)  Last year he was featured in a segment of 60 Minutes Sports.
We will borrow heavily, but not exclusively, from his book.  CrossFit has many articles and videos available and each day we will post a few here on the web alongside the WOD.  This is required homework for you!  Take an active role in your own performance.  Understand what proper movement should look like and feel like.  I encourage you to share any feedback on your personal experiences.  If you find a helpful video, article or cue, share it here in the comments section of the website.  This should be a community effort.
Each day we will spend significant time working on the air squat and correcting individual faults.  (Hint: the correction is to squat).  As the week progresses we will end with light back/front squats and PVC overhead squats.  On Thursday night, we will have a mobility class with Kevin McGuinness, a physical therapist and competitive Olympic weight lifter and focus on squat mobility.
You won’t develop a perfect squat in a week, but you should have a new understanding and a new set of tools to help you progress on your own.
Following this week, we will then start a strength cycle focusing on back/front squats.
Looking forward to a great week!
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Air Squat
1 x 10 slow!
Work on individual faults and fixes.
Bar Squat
1 x 10 w/ :10-:15 hold
Box Squat
Find right depth
Goblet Squat
1 x 10 w/ :10-:15 hold

5 Rounds
10 Power Clean
10 Wall Ball
10 Toes to Bar

Required Reading:

Video of the Day:

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squat1. Start with the feet about shoulder width apart and slightly toed out.
2. Keep your head up looking slightly above parallel.
3. Don’t look down at all; ground is in peripheral vision only.
4. Accentuate the normal arch of the lumbar curve and then pull the excess
arch out with the abs.
5. Keep the midsection very tight.
6. Send your butt back and down.
7. Your knees track over the line of the foot.
8. Don’t let the knees roll inside the foot.
9. Keep as much pressure on the heels as possible.
10. Stay off of the balls of the feet.
11. Delay the knees forward travel as much as possible.
12. Lift your arms out and up as you descend.
13. Keep your torso elongated.
14. Send hands as far away from your butt as possible.
15. In profile, the ear does not move forward during the squat; it travels straight down.
16. Don’t lt the squat just sink, but pull yourself down with your hip flexors.
17. Don’t let the lumbar curve surrender as you settle in to the bottom.
18. Stop when the fold of the hip is below the knee – break parallel with the
19. Squeeze glutes and hamstrings and rise without any leaning forward or
shifting of balance.
20. Return on the exact same path as you descended.
21. Use every bit of musculature you can; there is no part of the body
 22. On rising, without moving the feet, exert pressure on the outside of your feet as though you were trying to separate the floor beneath you.
23. At the top of the stroke stand as tall as you possibly can.