Its one of the most fundamental exercises seen within a gym, however it is often done POOR and with incorrect form. You will see this on you tube or local fitness videos.
The Squat is the KING of exercises as it lays the base for success for all compound lifts. If you get your squat right then it will make life so much easier when it comes to executing any other lift , ie Dead lift , Front Squat , Over Head Squat.
My Top Tips
Body weight squat– make sure this is perfect before attempting to go NEAR a barbell. When it comes to squatting the lack of mobility and strength in their posterior chain are major issues . So YOU know what that means…..strengthen and stretch the muscles which this applies to, which may include calves, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and quads ect. All this would be done prior to your session. All of the people we work with here at them gym would have their movement assessed ( FMS Screen). This allows us to see which muscle imbalances they have. We would then subscribe them a program to help them address the problems.
Glute Activation. They are the most powerful muscle in the body and vital when comes to squatting. This can be done via mini band walks, jane fondas and various other pre hab exercies.
Ankle mobility – Have you seen people in gyms squatting with weight plates under their feet ?? The reason for this ankle immobility. The plates allow them get deeper into the squat. Personally speaking I would work on ankle mobility and then move to a weightlifting shoe
Ass To Grass – By this I mean get as deep as possible with your squat, hips below parallel to allow for more muscle fibre recruitment in the glutes and hamstrings. Of course this is done with PERFECT form. However this will only work if you have mastered the basics.
Hip Strength-If your hips are weak – hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors – you will have more a tendency to fall forward and have your hips shoot upward when you come out of the hole at the bottom of a squat. Strengthening your hips with Romanian Deadlifts, Rack Pulls, Good Mornings and Kettlebell (or dumbbell) swings will teach you how to strengthen your hips. When we talk about strengthening the hips, we are talking about strengthening hip extension. Powerful hip extension is a fundamental movement pattern that is seen in most compound strength training exercises in the gym. This hip hinge movement must always be done while keeping your torso in a neutral (or straight) position. That is the key. Can you maintain a straight back when you transition from hip flexion into hip extension? If you cant maintain this you need to reassess your squat as the last thing you want to happen is for you to fall forward with a barbell on your back. Now that wouldn’t be a pretty site.
Its a marathon NOT a sprint. Most gym goers feel the need to fit the fad and by this I mean doing what ever it is their inspirations do on Instagram or Facebook. Loaded squats with SHIT heavy weight. I’ve seen tonnes of videos all fitness related from different facilities where both men and women are squatting… One word describes them … F*UCKING AWFUL. What they seem to forget is that these people or athletes that the are trying to copy are being monitored by someone of a professional nature. Work on the basic as they never go out of style ie Master the body weight squat first.
If you need anymore advice in regards your squatting technique or any thing fitness related just fill in the short form below.