The Perfect Squat
Tips to achieve the perfect Squat!
We LOVE squats! The squat is one of the best exercises you can do at home or at the gym. Squatting is literally in our DNA; think of a toddler picking up their toys! The perfect squat is a crucial weapon in your training arsenal.
So, let’s talk about technique:
It all starts in the feet.
Finding your perfect stance sets up better movement in your knees and hips. Play with a shoulder width stance, then wider, then narrower. Which feels the best for you? Once you have your ideal stance, connect with your feet on the floor like suction cups. Your big toe, baby toe and heel should act as a tripod of support. Try to keep your weight evenly set over your laces throughout the entire movement!
What to do with your Knees!
Your knees should track through the center of the foot while you squat. Sometimes this feels like you’re pushing them out. Do not allow them to fall inwards! Your knees can go forward (YES, it’s true), but not so far forward that your heels lift. Think of spreading the floor beneath you as you squat.
Your Hips don’t Lie!
As you sit down, think of spreading your sit bones apart. Press your hips back, as you would to sit into a chair. The aim is to squat deep, but not so deep that you lose your neutral spine (i.e. maintain a gentle arch in your low back the entire way up and down). Everyone’s hips are shaped differently, so squat depth is individual. Squat as low as your body allows. There are no rules to say you must squat to the floor!
Work Against Gravity!
On the way down, don’t let gravity do the work for you. This will inevitably cause you to lose tension in your core and hip muscles. Instead, pull yourself down towards the floor as if you’re fighting against gravity. Stop before you feel your spine change shape.
Your trunk should lean forward slightly, but ultimately your chest and head should always face forward. Ribs and pelvis should stay aligned. As you lower yourself down, keep a core brace to prevent excessive arching in your lower back.
Once you are comfortable in your technique, add volume and load. You can also try adding `Squat Breaks` to your day to reap the rewards of this fantastic exercise.