Monday, July 21, 2014

How To Fix Your Squats Instantly!



 The squat is one of the most basic/primal human movements. If you look at any toddler try to pick something up off the ground, they drop into a perfect squat and stand back up. We're all born with the mobility to perform the squat. The problem is that over time, most adults completely lose the ability to perform this basic movement due to sitting on the couch, at a desk, or in the car. We no longer have to squat on a regular basis in our every day life and we slowly lose the mobility/flexibility required to fold our bodies into the squat. 

 Why should you care if you can drop into a full squat? Deep squats and holding the bottom position of a deep squat have a ton of benefits. Here's a few ... 

- Improved hip mobility/flexibility
- Better posture
- Improved ankle strength and mobility
- Increased knee strength and stability
- Increased hamstring and low back flexibility
- Better digestion
- Smoother bowel movements 
 ... and more! 

 When anyone first comes to me for training I always assess their basic movement patterns, and the squat is one of the most important ones. We have to first improve their movement and have them "re-learn" how to squat, push, pull, and stabilize themselves before any thing else! For most people, this is much more challenging than it sounds. 

 When it comes to the squat, there are a handful of issues that I run into regularly when teaching a client to "re-learn" the squat pattern. Everyone is different and their needs are addressed on an individual basis, BUT today I'll be showing you two of the most common issues and how to "quick fix" them. 

1.) You're knee's buckle inward during the lowering or standing up portion of your squat: 
  This is usually due to a lack of muscle recruitment in the hips and glutes. This lack or muscle involvement can also cause knee pain for some people. I've always found a great and simple fix for this issue is to provide resistance by having something push the legs/knees inward. Get yourself a jump stretch band or a theraband with a knot tied in it to form a loop.  Step into the loop of the band, slide it up your legs until it's just above the knee joint. As you squat, push your knees outward and fight against the resistance of the band. You should feel the pressure pass instantly into your gluts and hips, completely reducing your knee pain and the knee collapse. This is a great exercise for training the glutes and hips to activate properly during your squats. 

2.) You can't hold your balance, feel like you're going to fall backwards, and can't squat down deep:
  This one is a very simple fix, and you can do it with any number of house hold objects. Take a weight plate, broom stick, or 2x4 and place it under your the heels as you squat. This will help you root your heels into the object, help you sit back and maintain balance, and give you that full range of motion you're looking for during your squats.  Over time, you'll be able to remove the object from under your heels and squat without assistance. You don't need anything fancy to get this done, in the video above I use two rocks I found in the park. 

 There you have it, now get out there and get squatting like a champ! 

- Tim


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3 comments:

  1. Great article, I use the 2x4 while doing squat assessments. I call it the squat-o-matic

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    Replies
    1. Squat-O-Matic, I love it haha! Glad you liked the article, hope you're doing well.

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