Do you do squat – part 1?

Squats have been a part of strength training routines for a long time and are  excellent exercises for not only sports performance but for creating a nice fit look in your lower body as well. They train multiple muscle groups like glutes, hamstrings and quads, and back. For that reason they should not be amiss in one shape or another in any strength training routine unless medically contraindicated. One squat that we do not perform anymore is with the barbell loaded on the back due to increased injury risk.

The following squat variations are great training tools:Fitness man training air squat exercise on beach

  • Body Weight Squat
  • Goblet Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Split Squat
  • Weighted Split Squat
  • One legged Squats

As you can see I have not added the pistol squat into the arsenal. Looking at the biomechanical position of the pistol squat I cannot recommend it since the shearing forces on the knee seem to be too big and the risks outweigh the benefits.

In general we tell our clients to lower their hips until their thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly below. It is important that the glutes fire properly. Should your knees cave in you are probably better of doing some glute activation / correction exercises prior to your actual lifting.

Another mistake we commonly see in squats: people either push their knees excessively forward and have reduced hip flexion or do not bend their knees enough and have trunk flexion with increased spinal load. It is important to us to find out why our personal training client does what they do and our initial assessment usually gives us a good indicator on lack of mobility, stability or coordination or a combination of any of those three.

Many people want to go to the most advanced technique right away thinking that more is always better. I strongly disagree with that. Proper progression in your technique not only keeps you safe but also guarantees the most success.

In the next post we will dissect the body weight squat, the goblet squat as well as the front squat in more detail.

Until then:

Yours,

Michael

 

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