Squatting is at once one of the easiest things to teach in the gym, and one of the things most trainees do horribly wrong – which increases the likely hood of injury something fierce!
I believe in having my lifters squat as often as they can possibly handle it given their time constraints (as was made abundantly clear in my article at Breaking Muscle this week, “The 21-Day Squat Challenge.”) . But in order for that to happen, they need to squat well so that they don’t injure themselves … duh!
Here are the 6 major things you need to put into place if you want to squat the way my lifters at PDX do.
- Put on a heel! We cheat, I’m gonna throw that out there up front. Without a heel, squatting like a weightlifter will be nearly impossible.
- Increase mobility in the glutes, especially the periformis region.
- Increase mobility in the hip flexors
- Increase mobility in the groin
- Keep your hip bone right on top of the ankle bone as you go down in the squat as best as you can. It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s a great goal.
- Keep your chest up and torso locked at ALL times!
You may wonder why I did’t tell you to increase your ankle mobility? Well … I DO want you to do that. I want you to do a lot of things … but I can only have you learn so much at a time, and I like this stuff to come first.
I see more bad lifts because of a lack of mobility in the hip region (glutes, groin, hip flexors) than I do from bad ankle mobility.
Realistically, that’s in part because of the heel on the foot. Just like a cyclist needs pedals on his bike, a weightlifter needs heels on his … heels 🙂
On with the show!