Updated: Mar 21, 2021
I truly believe squatting is one of the most powerful movements that any human should be able to perform. Whether you are 15-year-old football player to a 65-year-old grandmother getting up from the couch. Squatting is one of our primal movements that we were born to do.
What this post is going to teach you is my 3 golden rules on improve your squat so it can be pain free, but you may even notice that your performance improves as well.
The Hip Hinge
One of the most important, FOUNDATIONAL movements that can make or break your squat. I’ve seen many clients and this tip alone has helped people decrease knee pain with their squatting due to the fact the posterior chain is more involved.
A Hip hinge is a sagittal plane movement where the hips are the axis of rotation between a neutral lumbopelvic segment and a femur (your thigh)
As you can see she is moving through her hips not her lower back
Creating A Stable Base With Your Feet
Have you ever thought about what you are supposed to do with your feet during a squat?
Everything comes from the ground up. Meaning that your foot is the first to experience the forces from the ground when squatting up. You have to build a stable foot in order to create a stable base for your body to push off. So how do we do this?
You want to make sure that your big toe, little toe, and heel all are making contact with the ground. Think about it, if you did not have that position at point 1, you’re going to be off balance and shaky throughout your squat. My advice is to practice this stable foot position.
Bracing The Core
The cue that I use and have a lot of success with is: “imagine if someone was about to punch you in the stomach and you tighten up in order to prepare for it” This way you can get all of the core muscles engaged and provide stability throughout the whole lift. You want to make sure you are maintaining that brace throughout the WHOLE ENTIRE LIFT.
As you can see above, you have many layers of muscles that responsible to protecting the low back and build stability.
A lot of times, what I find is that most people are rectus abdominal dominant and that they have weakness in their transverse abdominis. A weak TVA is often one of the many reasons people may experience low back pain during a squat. If you're looking to alleviate lower back pain, adding some specific exercises to strengthen your TVA muscle may be helpful.
Well, those are my tips. I tried my best to keep it as simple as possible and establish certain principles. Remember, not all squats are going to look the same. But I do believe there are certain standards that everyone has to follow in order to achieve a powerful, pain free squat.
I want to take the time and say thank you for reading. If you know someone who will benefit from these tips, share this post!
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