Anyone who has been around the fitness industry will have heard at some point that squatting is the king of all exercises, yet it is also one that causes people a lot of trouble. This article should help you make good use of this great exercise.
Why do Squats?
- Good for cardiovascular system & require high energy expenditure: Large movement involving large muscles
- Improves athletic performance: Most sports require good leg strength, squats can help you run faster, jump higher, give better stability and higher power output
- Prevent Injury and Improve Mobility: If trained properly squats can improve ankle, knee, hip and back stability as well as improve your mobility
- Lower Body Muscle Development: They are the most back for your buck exercise for lower body muscle development If done with correct intensity and tempo.
3 tips to help you squat deeper and reduce injury risk
Counterbalance Goblet Squat (video demo in video below)
The counterbalance allows for a deeper squat than usually possible giving you the opportunity to get your body used to these greater ranges of motion and allows you to practice squatting with a neutral spine.
Plantar Fascia Myofascial Release (demo in video above)
Ankle mobility is a common restriction, this drill helps keep your ankles on the floor throughout.
Master a full range Front Squat before a Full Range Back Squat
The counterbalance provided by the weight being in front of the body allows you to train with a greater squat depth allowing better results.
There is also less stress on the lower back which makes it a more suitable option for someone with lower back issues. If performing a Barbell Front Squat and shoulder or wrist mobility is an issue the either do a single dumbbell front squat or use the grip variation using straps shown in the video below.
That should give you something to get started on. For one to one PT services and/or program design see my services and prices page.
Author - Tom Peto
Available for magazine & website articles