Perfecting The Squat

26 Sep

I always thought I had the whole squatting thing nailed. It’s easy, just bend your knees, sit back and then stand up again. Turns out there is a whole lot more to it that makes it a much more complicated, but more exciting movement.

When I had my first leg session with Jordan Lue at The lomax (www.lomaxpt.com) he very quickly noted a few things about my squat that were hindering my progress. He has since stripped my squat right back to basics, tweaked it and we are now building it back up again. It’s so interesting to see the difference it has made.

THE TUCK

photo 1

Jordan wasn’t the first person that noticed this, but he was the first person to really address it and help me change it. Due to my flexibility, I am able to squat quite low but as I pass a certain point my glutes and lower back disengage and as a result I was experiencing a “tuck“.

You can see in this picture that not only is there a posterior tuck in my lower back, but my knees are too far forward. This may not cause problems now but it certainly will when I start to lift heavier weights. It will put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the knees and make it much easier to sustain an injury.

It is important to correct and perfect the technique before starting to add weight and developing bad habits like I had done over the years. So we got to work in correcting it.

 

THE SOLUTION 

photo 2

The first thing we did was make sure to activate my glutes. We used foam rollers and resistance bands to do this. The squat as a movement should recruit the quadriceps, hamstrings, erector spinae and the glutes. If one of them is not working, the others have to work harder and this leads to imbalances and injuries.

Jordan told me to really push my knees out from start to finish. I started with a wider stance, toes facing outwards slightly and aimed to push my knees out and over my toes. Immediately I could feel my glutes activating and helping me in the squat when I did this.

Next, we worked on decreasing my range and finding the point at which the tuck starts to reappear. Once we discovered where this was, I focused on squatting to this point. You can use a box to mark this out until you are fully comfortable that you know where it is.

 

Once Jordan was happy with my new squatting technique, we started building it back up again and I am loving seeing the improvement. I am now focusing on keeping the correct form as I increase the weight that I squat. Below I am squatting with a 60kg bar, which isn’t the heaviest I have done, however it is the best and I am happy with my posture here. You can see I am working on sitting back more so my knees don’t come too far forward and my knees are pushed right out. They are still not perfect, but they are getting there and are far better than they were!

squat 60kg

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