Improving the Squat
Chris Calabrese - Elite Myotherapist
Squatting. The natural movement in which everybody once achieved as a young child with such ease, has been lost in many of us. Why?
The purpose of this article is not to focus on the technique of how to squat, nor is it a comprehensive guide on the complex biomechanics involved. Rather, I will focus on the mobility restrictions which result from our perpetually-increasing sedentary lifestyles. Some signs that you may have some mobility restrictions are if your butt “winks” or tucks underneath your trunk early in the squat; if you topple over backwards; your heels come off the ground; lean forward excessively or if you simply cannot get deep into the squat.
Assuming an individual has structurally ‘normal’ arthrokinematics and bone structure (joint movement) and appropriate motor control cues on how to perform the squat, I firmly believe that all humans should be capable to squat like the previously pictured children. Although, due to our societies obsession and sometimes unavoidable need to sit in modern-day seats and to wear high-heeled shoes, this has become a difficult skill to acquire for many.
So, if you feel that you fit the aforementioned criteria of mobility restriction, here is a list exercises to get you started before you squat for issues we commonly see in the treatment rooms.
1) Hip flexor stretching (Couch stretch).
2) Adductor group stretching
2) Posterior hip stretching and spikey ball
1) Powerband distraction
2) Calf Stretching and foam rolling
Ultimately, to help minimise the impact of our sedentary lifestyle on our mobility, it’s best to use a “prevention rather than cure” approach. Get up, move around, do some stretches, see a Myotherapist. Our bodies love movement.
It is also important to see a professional to assess your technique and motor control issues if you are experiencing pain during your squats.
Good luck squatting!
For more information regarding how Myotherapy and exercises can yield better results for your body, ask one of our friendly Elite practitioners.