Article Talking Points
4 minute read
- Deep Squats
- Hip Flexibility
- Rectify Legs Imbalances
- Squat Tracking
- Strengthening Core
- Back to Basics
The squat is often hailed as the king of resistance training.
By performing the squats, you will activate multiple muscles groups such as the quadriceps, hamstring, hips, lower back, glutes, shoulders, back, and core. The squat plays a pivotal role in muscle growth and helps to boost strength, power, and stability for the whole body.
Whether you are sprinting, skiing, or cycling, performing the squats is essential when trying to improve your athletic performance and fitness levels.
If you looking to improve your squatting technique, we have compiled the top 6 ways to help you, become a better athlete, and while preventing the risk of squat related injuries.
So follow along and let's dive right in!
1: Practice Deep Squat
Chances are, you would have seen plenty of people performing half squat in the gym, and this is a common sight for squatting.
However, if you want that much improved squatting technique, going ass to grass or squatting deep would help, It can increase the range of motion and lengthen the concentric and eccentric movement. This would not only improve your squat, but it will help to stimulate additional muscle fibers in your legs.
This is backed by studies showing a group of participants who performed deep squat had elicited an increase in muscle size and strength when compared to the other group who performed a shorter range of motion.
Deep squat is also easier on your back than poorly executed heavy half squat.
2: Enhance Hip Flexibility
The lack of hip flexibility is a frequent problem that prevents people from squatting properly and performing a full squat.
There are several small muscles involved in the hip flexion, and if the hip flexors are tight and can't move with a full range of motion, you will face issues squatting correctly with proper form.
Here's a test to find out if your hips are weak. If you have the tendency to fall forward when you descend to the bottom of the squat, you would need to improve your hips strength and flexibility.
These are some effective exercises to help strengthen your hips and keep the hip flexors loose:
Good mornings Kettlebell swings Hip flexor stretch Rack Pulls Yoga
You could also practice with the wall squat. It's a simple and effective way to improve your squat.
Here's how to do it:
Face the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Have your palms facing the wall and fully extend your arms above your head. Push your hips backward and perform a deep squat. Keep your chest up and spine in a neutral position. Drive through your heels and move upward back to the starting position.
3: Rectify Legs Imbalances by Performing Single-Leg Training
Having muscle imbalances in your legs might hinder your performance while squatting. These imbalances could be the difference between you hitting a PR or staying at your current level.
The good news is, you can rectify the imbalances by performing single-leg training after your squats. Some of our recommended exercises include single-leg press, dumbbell lunges, and Bulgarian split squat.
Perform 8 to 12 reps for each side and go for 3-4 sets.
4: Record Your Squat
This is probably the quickest way to improve your squatting technique. Ask your friend or training partner to record you squatting.
You will be surprised to see how much you can actually improve just by doing this. You could notice common errors such as bar positions on your back is not right, or legs position being out of place.
Refine what you need to be doing, implement the changes and record again to see if you have performed the squat with proper form.
5: Strengthen Your Core
If your core is weak, you are more likely to fall forward when you squat (much like weak hips). A strong core gives you the flexibility and stability to keep your torso straight while squatting. Besides improving squatting technique, a strong core also helps in preventing back and spine injuries.
Before you begin a squat, take a deep breath, tighten your core, and you will observe a greater range of motion. After you complete one rep, repeat the same process throughout the set and keep your core tight. By doing this, you will also notice major improvements in your ability to squat heavier weights.Some effective direct abdominal exercises to develop the core includes the weighted sit-ups, plank, Russian twist, hip raise, and bicycle crunch.
6: Back to Basics
While the other 5 points above would help to improve your squatting technique, it's crucial to get the basics right first.
If your technique is poor, no strong core or hip strength can help your squat. The 4 key things to always keep in mind is keep your chest up, avoid rounding your back, hips push back when descending, and toes face slight outward.
Avoid the beginner mistake squatting straight down without first pushing your hips back when descending. This will prevent you from falling forward when the weight on the bar gets heavier.
The squat is one of the toughest and most challenging exercises to perform. However, if performed correctly, the squat can rapidly improve your legs strength, strengthen your core and build solid leg muscles.
Here's a recap of the top 6 ways to improve your squatting technique:
Practice Deep Squat Enhance Hip Flexibility Rectify Legs Imbalances Record Your Squat Strengthen Your Core Back to Basics
Try out these 6 tips above for your next leg day training session and you will observe significant improvements in your squatting technique over the coming few weeks
Over to You!
Let us know in the comments below your thoughts on the 6 ways to improve your squatting technique.