3 ways to automatically improve your squat

Does squatting give you back pain?

Knee pain?

Sore hips?

You can fix ALL of these problems by following these 3 mental/physical ques every time you squat. And yes, these ques apply regardless of what variation of the squat you are using.

#1 Hips MUST drop back first

Whatever moves first, loads first. Meaning if you bend from the knees first then don’t be surprised if you are experiencing some sort of knee pain. Let the hips drop back slightly first and then follow that up by pushing your knees out as hard as you can, which leads us to step number 2.

#2 Push your knees out hard!

By pushing your knees out as hard as you can this allows the hips to open up and forces your glutes to activate, taking the load away from your lower back preventing back pain. Also by pushing your knees out this will prevent any caving in of the knees on the way up, allowing you to produce more power and force to drive the weight back up from the bottom of the squat.

#3 Spread the floor with you feet

The powerhouse of the lower body is the glutes, which means the more you can activate them when squatting, deadlifting etc the more your performance will improve and chance of injury will decrease. When setting up in your stance for a squat whether it’s a narrow or wide stance you want to imagine you are spreading the floor with your feet. I always think to myself “Big toe, little toe, heel”, this gives me a reference of where my weight is being distributed and then I think about spreading the floor out to the side with my feet which really fires up the glutes!

Important notes:

1. Spend a lot of time releasing and mobilizing your hips to ensure you are keeping a neutral pelvis.
2. Activate, activate, activate! Activate your glutes every day. As I mentioned above, the glutes are the powerhouse of the lower body. If your glutes are not firing then that’s when you will experience back pain, knee pain, sore hips, the list goes on and on..
3. Mobility in the calves and Achilles is also majorly important, if you can’t seem to keep your heels on the ground when squatting, try using some sort of elevation under the heels to make up for the lack of mobility. (A small weight plate or olympic lifting shoes for example.)

Give these 3 tips a go next time you squat and let me know if you feel a difference in the way you perform and recover from the session!

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