Improving Your Squat 101 – 4 Must Use Tips
There is no question that in order to perform a squat, you need healthy ankles, knees and hips. Muscle imbalances can develop in the majority of the sedentary population who sits on a chair all day. This can affect your ability to perform a safe and effective squat.
If your hip flexors are dysfunctional, it will cause excessive flexion in the lumbar spine, pulling your torso forward. Squatting with tight psoas resembles something closer to a Good Morning knee bend complex, creating excessive strain on the lower back and knees over time.
Limitation anywhere in the body can contribute to the problem. Overactive calf muscles, hamstrings, underactive glutes, erector spinae muscle can also contribute to the problem.
Squats, when done properly, can strengthen your adductors, hamstrings, glutes and core muscles. Here are some ways you can improve your squat and get the most bang out of your buck.
Perform split squats
These are the king of all lower body exercises. It strengthens your gluteus medius and vastus medialis in the front leg and lengthens the hip flexors on the back leg. Split squats will improve your overall squat, but squats will not improve your split squats.
Fire your glutes
Some of our favourite glute exercises are the 45’ back extension with a glute focus.
Stretch your hamstrings
Most of the sedentary population dip their butts at the bottom of the squat and they often associate that with weak lower back muscles. This is not always the case–it can be caused by short, overactive hamstrings.
Improve ankle mobility
Perform seated calf raise with a 2210 tempo. By holding 2 seconds at the bottom, you can promote remodelling of the tight tissue holding you back from ankle flexion. Don’t know what the tempo means? Read about it here.
There you have it. Four simple ways to improve your squats, but first, do your split squats. Don’t know where to start or how to stretch? Book a complimentary session with a Link Exercise Coach to help you improve your flexibility and strength.