How’s your squat? How’s your front squat? Is your back tight? Elbows up? Knees out? Can you hit the bottom (AKA below parallel)? How about butt to ankles?
Most kids naturally have a great squat. Combine years of desk sitting (think school then work) and add to it a lack of strength and flexibility. What do you get? An adult who by all counts can no longer safely perform the most basic of functional movements without experiencing pain and/or coming close to the mark on depth.
What can you do if you don’t got squat?
Spending time in the bottom position of the squat will allow you to get comfortable with the depth. Shoot for the hip crease below the knees and drive the knees out without rounding the back. Not to full depth? Relax. Let your leg muscles gradually stretch until you’re able to get there. Spend 2-10 minutes in the bottom position. Take breaks at first but get down there!
A lack of flexibility messes up your squat. The typical culprits are your hamstrings (back of the upper thigh), calves (umm, yea) and adductors (inner part of the upper thigh). After your workout- Stretch, foam roll, stretch, bocce ball roll, stretch…
A weak low back will also limit your squat. In many cases the back rounds during a squat because of an imbalance between your weak low back and strong/tight hamstrings. The muscles of the low back and the hamstrings both pull on the pelvis and if the hamstrings win- that’s not good. But since you’re working on stretching those dogs, the next step is to strengthen your back. RDLs (Romanian Deadlifts or stiff-legged deadlifts), back extensions, goodmornings and GHD extensions will do the trick. Start light and work consistently.
If you’re a part of our CFW/BFC crew- this is homework. Do it.
Your movement- good or bad- is an extension of you. You can always make it better. Don’t make excuses, tolerate or cater to bad form. Work hard to make it better. Is this life or death? Yes. No. Maybe. I can’t answer that. I do know it’s about quality. You trash your back and knees now by inactivity and lack of strength, then get them replaced later because that’s the “norm,” and I’d say that’s a decreased quality of life.
If you’re not a part of CFW/BFC- Why not?