Squat Group

By Pat Sherwood

In CrossFit, Exercises, Videos

May 10, 2009

Video Article

Pat Sherwood is one of CrossFit HQ’s top trainers. He spends the majority of his time traveling around the world presenting at Level 1 and Level 2 seminars.

In this video, he is captured teaching the basic squat at the Maine State Police Criminal Justice Academy on June 19th, 2008. Even if you know the traits of a good squat, getting others to move well is a whole different story.

Pat uses a wide variety of cues, tricks, stories, and humor to keep the group engaged and constantly improving their movement.

6min 32sec

Free Download


14 Comments on “Squat Group”


wrote …

Pat is an excellent trainer, and its always good to see him in a WOD or teach! Congrats Pat for making it to the games!,


wrote …

Pat, where did you do you team time? I was asked by an intstructor in Tampa if I knew you.

Mark Barry


wrote …

It's interesting to watch EC's squat, which reflects the "compromise" of the Olympic squat training she has and the power squat position generally advocated by Mark Rippetoe and the instructors at the Level 1 Certs. In Greg Everett's book on Oly lifting, he notes the imperative of remaining as upright as possible, and the need to allow the knees to move out in front of the feet to balance the upright posture. In contrast, Crossfit teaches knees over feet and hips back, which if one has a load positioned overhead (snatch or overhead squat), or racked (clean position) would result in forward lean and possible injury. For Crossfit's general fitness principals, the power position is no doubt a better way to go; but given the number of Olympic lifting inspired movements in Crossfit, there is a bit of a contradiction in the emphasis on knees no further forward than the feet.


wrote …

This is the first vid that I've seen that, in my humble as ever opinion, comes close to communicating the power and professionalism that is Pat Sherwood. Keep it coming, we can learn a lot from watching Pat at work.

Prospective Lv IIs, you should memorize these kinds of videos!



wrote …

Pat is an awesome trainer....he can teach me to squat anytime ;)


EC S wrote …

Michael -

I don't think my squat is a compromise at all. It's where I was 9+ months ago - trying (desparately!) to get a the "Greg Everett" squat you mention. At CF Lvl 1 - the trainers stress "butt back" to be sure you are are rooted through your heels. However, if you can achieve a perfectly upright squat (with heels down), this is desirable bc of the transferrability to the snatch and the clean. The CF L1 does NOT teach that knees have to be back. Many ppl have the forward leaning torso at L1's not bc we want that, but rather, posterior awareness has not been developed. Further, on shorter ppl, the knees may not seem to travel that far forward, yet they still are very upright. The knees forward is obvious on me bc of leg length - there is no where else for them to go!



EC S wrote …

Oh, and Pat Sherwood rocks!


wrote …


I was in Class 215. I did all of my time on the east coast at Team 4.

EC....great response. Right on the money about the the knees coming forward of the toes/feet.

Tony B.....you cracked me up with the music, bro!



replied to comment from EC S

On behalf of all other giraffe proportioned people in the CF community, you have my sympathy EC. :-)


wrote …

Stupid question: it seems everyone has their arms out. I'm used to NOT putting them out like that, but tend to go outside, doing it because it feels "natural" and "normal." Do I need to put them out like in the video? Or is it just preferable and optimal to do it that way? If it's the latter, would I be best served if I do it that way? Or is it just a personal preference?


EC S wrote …

Craig - I prefer the analogy to a gazelle ;)

Jason - Arms up is not necessary if you have a "perfect" squat. We often ask people to put their arms up to help keep their back in extension for the duration of the movement.



replied to comment from EC S

Thanks! That makes sense...


replied to comment from EC S

Gazelle is better.


wrote …

I had a great time at that cert with you guys. Great instructional video Pat. I was strange to see me on film after a couple of years. Hope to see you in the near future Pat. I will buy the lobster this time.

Justin Stauss

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