Improving your ability to squat

Squatting is known as the ‘king’ of exercises, as it is one of the most productive. However, it is difficult to both learn and master. Do not give up at the first hurdle, help is at hand.

Static Squat
Image credit: Shape magazine

If you are new to squatting start off with an empty bar, whilst your technique is being developed. Be sure to only add weights that are light until your technique progresses and a ‘squat’ position becomes a part of you, ‘perfect in everyway’.

When it comes to a squat, practice really does make ‘permanent’. Put in the ‘hard graft’ from the beginning and it will save you months or perhaps even years of ineffective technique and injury to your body.

If a squat is ‘old hat’ to you, perhaps use these 6 tips to check and see if there is any need to ‘remaster’ your squat for your body alignment and gait. It is like learning to drive, we all get into ‘good habits’ to pass our test and once we pass, ‘less desirable habits’ creep in and our driving form diminishes.

  1. Watch your form and think: Chest up, hips back, and knees out. Use ‘Wall Squats’ or ‘Goblet squats’ to help develop form.
  2. Develop a ‘strong’ core – did you know that Improving the strength of the muscles that surround your torso, if they are weak, will decrease the likelihood of you falling forward when you squat.
  3. Increase hip and back strength
  4. Use different barbells –Try using a buffalo bar, safety squat bar or a giant cambered bar to help you get a stronger squat and maintain a better body alignment.
  5. Grip the bar as you squat – Creating tension in your hands, forearms, biceps, shoulders and upper back using a ‘firm’ grip will enable you to stay upright and safe when you squat.
  6. Deep Breathing – This will engage intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) / core stability. Pre-squat, deep breath to expand both your abdomen and chest cavity. Holding your breath engages IAP and helps hips to neutralise, allowing a good ‘starting position’ for your squat.
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