Author Topic: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?  (Read 27852 times)

Offline Mark Toorock

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Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« on: November 29, 2007, 03:07:30 AM »
We hear this one all the time. Some people will say you should never bend your knees past 90 degress - ask them to get off the floor from lying down, or how they get off the toilet.

Here's my response to a recent email

New Traceur,
At Primal fitness we teach people to bend past 90, but this is with personal supervision. What I would suggest is that you do unweighted squats as conditioning at least 3 days a week, working up to where 50, 75, or even 100 squats isn't a big deal for you,, and lay off anything that could be considered a drop until that time. Then, do some small drops, like 10 a day from a foot, and see where you are naturally more stable. Drops over about 5-6 feet will never be "good for you" as an exercise to build leg strength, and should be practiced sparingly and probably only in your second year of training when conditioning is up and you are very adept at landing and rolling.
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Offline Chris Lyons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 04:29:34 AM »
I'v been landing and bending my knees past 90 degress for years... guess I need to go back to the drawling board. :-\
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Offline bjkpersonal@aim.com

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2008, 11:43:34 PM »
i understand doing squats to condition the legs against the pressures of gravity, but can you advise a certain type of leg position?  i had this dilemma last night and ended up with the conclusion that i can push myself forward from any jump under 5 feet or so.  however, i'm not sure if i should roll at such a low height.  i don't need to take the pressure off of my knees, but it's the only way i can think of keeping my forward momentum, unlike bending my knees, where my only option is to try to spring myself upward, land, then resume running.  solution, please?

Offline Chris Lyons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 03:21:04 AM »
WARNING: CHRIS IS ABOUT OT GIVE ADVICE!!

if i was in  your position the easiest way to maintain momentum in my opinion would be to perform a small hop almost imediatly after landing, and landing in such a way so that you would still tip forward, even when crouched.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 04:25:21 AM by Chris Lyons »
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Offline KC Parsons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 04:06:07 AM »
Rolling after a drop (talking in terms of smaller drops especially) makes it feel like you're keeping forward momentum, and so you think you're keeping your speed up. However, but simply doing a standard landing, then exploding upwards and forwards into a sprint, you achieve a faster speed, but with a stop in between.
The idea of a roll is to disperse the force of the impact of the drop, and keep it 'flowing'. Not necessarily faster, though.

Offline Chris Lyons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2008, 04:24:11 AM »
Rolling after a drop (talking in terms of smaller drops especially) makes it feel like you're keeping forward momentum, and so you think you're keeping your speed up. However, but simply doing a standard landing, then exploding upwards and forwards into a sprint, you achieve a faster speed, but with a stop in between.
The idea of a roll is to disperse the force of the impact of the drop, and keep it 'flowing'. Not necessarily faster, though.

+1 for being better at explaining things than I am  ;D
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Offline KC Parsons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 01:22:32 PM »
I just want to point out the importance of avoiding uneven knee compression.

Anyone who's read Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength knows what I'm talking about, he goes over it in the squat section.

When crouched, and your knees are bent (yes, past 90), make sure they're in line with your toes.
If you keep your toes pointed forward, facing straight infront of you, make sure your knees are doing the same, and are in line with them.

If they point out ward, and form an angle, make sure your knees point out in the same direction. Like I said, if you don't, you'll be putting too much uneven compression the outside or inside (depending on how you land) of your knees.

If, when you look down at your toes upon landing, and they're like this:
 |   |
, then make sure your knees point forward with them.
If they look more like this:

 \     /
, Make sure your knees point the same way as your toes.

The knees and toes should be vertically in line together.



PS: Landing, but not allowing your knees to bend past 90 means you have to finish the landing by bending over a lot at the hip, and I'm sure your legs can bear the brunt of the landing way better than your spine and hips can, since your knees flex and more fluidly compress into it, while bending at the hip means you have to arc your back way too much.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 01:24:11 PM by KC "Chicago" Parsons »

Offline Matthew Wang

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2008, 11:14:37 AM »
So this means you should bend your knees past 90 degrees but you should make sure you have the proper strength and technique?
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Offline KC Parsons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2008, 01:02:13 AM »
So this means you should bend your knees past 90 degrees but you should make sure you have the proper strength and technique?
Exactly!

Offline Corey Rift Ehrler

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2008, 05:22:11 PM »
^^Clarification = WOOHOO!!
 If I roll out of a drop then I do not go past 90*. If I am not rolling out of a drop than I bend my knees past 90* to help with the impact...
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Offline KC Parsons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 05:41:27 PM »
I do want to add that going past 90 degrees is okay, but be careful when doing so.

For the most part, people tend to go past 90 when they 'bottom out', which is bad.
Bottoming out means just letting yourself fall with the impact.

You can bend past 90, but you should be muscularly, consciously resisting the impact the split second your feet hit the ground.

So again, it's okay, so long as you're doing it right.

Offline Corey Rift Ehrler

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 12:30:22 PM »
I agree.  That is probably the worst possible things you can do to your knees is "bottom out".  I always use muscle the whole way down.
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Offline Andrew So

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2008, 09:00:39 AM »
I agree.  That is probably the worst possible things you can do to your knees is "bottom out".  I always use muscle the whole way down.

Agreed.  The reason for the "90 degree" guideline is so people don't take drops beyond their level and have their ass crash into their heels.  It's certainly not a rule, but it's good to train precisions where the lower body can absorb the impact without bending the knees too much.

Offline KC Parsons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2008, 12:47:36 PM »
I'm glad you guys have the right idea. It's all about reasonability.

Offline Shane Warren

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2008, 08:07:19 PM »
I'm pretty sure I'm doing it completely wrong but when I land I continue to bend at my knees until I can extend my arms and touch the ground. 
i haven't had any joint or ligament problems yet.
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Offline KC Parsons

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2008, 08:08:25 AM »
I'm pretty sure I'm doing it completely wrong but when I land I continue to bend at my knees until I can extend my arms and touch the ground. 
i haven't had any joint or ligament problems yet.

Well first off, don't judge anything by you having joint problems. One, they could continue later. Two, by the time you realize it's wrong it could be too late.

You can extend your arms and touch the ground without bending your knees much at all (bending at the hips and leaning over). But too much of that is bad, too.
It's best to find a middle ground. Some bend at the knees and some leaning over to make the hands touch.
I personally recommend taking it a bit further and actually land in a way that allows the hands and arms and shoulders to take off some of the impact, as opposed to just slapping the ground with them.

Offline Shane Warren

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2008, 06:45:15 PM »
K thanks QMKC ;D
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Offline Zach Hu Zerdaty

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 09:42:44 AM »
I'v been landing and bending my knees past 90 degress for years... guess I need to go back to the drawling board. :-\

For real, i started parkour straight with just my acctive body, not to much gym going, and i been doing 10 15 foot drops. oops. no wonder i had soar days.
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Offline jorgeDominik

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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2009, 10:38:29 PM »
I'm pretty sure I'm doing it completely wrong but when I land I continue to bend at my knees until I can extend my arms and touch the ground. 
i haven't had any joint or ligament problems yet.

Well first off, don't judge anything by you having joint problems. One, they could continue later. Two, by the time you realize it's wrong it could be too late.

You can extend your arms and touch the ground without bending your knees much at all (bending at the hips and leaning over). But too much of that is bad, too.
It's best to find a middle ground. Some bend at the knees and some leaning over to make the hands touch.
I personally recommend taking it a bit further and actually land in a way that allows the hands and arms and shoulders to take off some of the impact, as opposed to just slapping the ground with them.
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Re: Should I bend my knees past 90 degrees when I land?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2010, 09:04:09 PM »
so is doing squats the only way to improve leg muscle? cause my legs arnt very strong (im a girl)