This Blog series will all be about the squat. It is one of the best exercises within any exercise program. It is a fundamental movement that is used throughout PT programs and classes here at TeamBreakthrough and is very easily performed poorly.
Throughout this series we will take you through everything from squat technique to improvements and corrections to the best footwear for squatting.
The squat is one the most famous exercises within exercise. It is the iconic movement improving, mobility, strength and power. When done correctly it involves nearly every muscle within the body and is a fundamental human movement pattern.
You will see it being performed in many, many forms across the gym floor. Many people only think of the classic bilateral squat, however, within the squat pattern we have many different movements:-
- Body Weight Squat
- Goblet Squat
- Front Squat
- Back Squat
- Safety Bar Squat
- Overhead Squat
- Box Squat
- Split Squat
- Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
- Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
- Speed Skater Squat
And the squat movement pattern is used throughout many other movements not with the name squat involved. For example think of:
- Wall / Ski Sit
- Jumping and Landing Mechanics
- Box Jumps
How To Perform
In order to perform a squat optimally the following check points are what we are looking for:
• Proper breathing/bracing mechanics
• Hips move first on the descent
• The entire back remains stable through the full movement
• The knees track in perfect alignment with the toes
• The hips and chest rise at the same rate during the ascent.
• The athlete remains in complete control during the entire movement (no dive bombing)
• The athlete’s thigh should at least pass parallel during the descent.
To see an example of optimal squat technique check out this video of German Olympic Weightlifter Max Lang.
This video shows him performing a front squat. Obviously this is an elite performer but it gives you a perfect example of fantastic technique and highlighting all the points above.
Common Limiting Factors Affecting Squat Ability
There are various reasons and limitations to what could be affecting your squatting ability as everyone is different, with different bone structures and genetics. However, two common limitations that have the largest affect on our squat ability are:
- Ankle Mobility
- Hip Mobility
Over the next two weeks we will be going through ankle mobility – how to test to see if you need to improve yours, and then how you can improve it for a better squat!