Fix Your Squat!
My biggest pet peeves while at the gym is seeing one of these two things:
1 – A person with atrocious deadlift form. This usually entails a complete rounding of their lower back, while trying to lift a couple of hundred pounds.
2 – A person load up a bar with 2-4 plates on each side, get under it and squat a total of 3 and a half inches.
Both of these things annoy me to no end, and despite typically correcting someone with atrocious deadlift form, I usually just sit there and become increasingly agitated as the person will add more plates to is 3 and a half inch squat.
In order to simply not vent without offering a solution to these problems, I wrote an article (later broken into two) to help the person know how deep he or she should be squatting and 5 tips on what to do in order to fix a “broken squat.”
Besides the quality information in those articles, I have a couple of additional things to add:
1 – Most guy’s issues when it comes to back squat dept is ankle mobility and thoracic extensibility (top of your back doesn’t go back as much). Ankle mobility can take a while to fix, but sometimes can’t be fixed because of ligamental or tendon damage in the ankle. If that’s the case and you want to back squat, make sure to purchase a good pair of weightlifting shoes (VS Athletics make an affordable, high-quality shoe). If thoracic extensibility is the issue, use front squats, goblet squats or lunge variations until you get the proper t-spine extensibility.
If T-spine extensibility is your issue, spend a good amount of time with a foam roller or soft ball rolling out the lat, subclavicus, pec minor and bicep. In addition to these things, do some side-lying external rotation, wall slides and band pull aparts.
2 – Most women’s issues when it comes to back squat is not depth, but typically stability issues. This means their knees will collapse is, their back will round (not because of muscle tightness but instead because of lack of motor control over their back and inactivation of their deeper core muscles). In other words, getting women to perform a proper squat is a bit different, but generally has to do with cueing.
An excellent exercise for vagal collapse (knees coming in) is to simply put an exercise band around the knees and squat down, making sure that your knees continue to track your toes. In other words, actively push out against the band while squatting. Do this exercise with NO weight and just get used to pushing out against the band while squatting at proper depth.
3 – I actually haven’t watched the videos. They are of high quality and the information is first class (just sayin’) but all I remember on that day is feeling like a tool who’s brain wanted to shut down because the fatigue from the 4 hours of sleep the night before (along with working with 6 clients earlier that day) had finally crept in.
Go to the two articles below and Fix Your Squat!
How Deep Should You Squat?