One of the most prevalent problems that we see when training beginners is their inability to perform squat exercises properly. Even folks that do exercise regularly often have a wrong idea about how proper squats are executed.
The video tutorial below will help to clear out the confusion and arm you with 7 proven basic mobility and active flexibility drills designed to get your squat to where it should be. The outlined curriculum is just the tip of the iceberg, as far as squat-specific exercises go, but it will help you to establish solid foundation and than move forward from there.
This is the list of the squat-specific mobility and active flexibility drills outlined in the video above:
- Discovering Proper Bottom Squat Position
- Squat with Heels Elevated
- Wall Squat
- Crab Knee Adduction
- Cossack Squat
- Hunter Squat
- Heels to Knees Squat
(Be aware that the above exercises are for people with relatively healthy lower body extremities — in case of an acute hip, knee or ankle issue there might be a need for more specialized personal programming, depending on the extend of the injury and other factors. Consult a specialist for more personalized training approach.)
Practice those drills as often as possible while staying as fresh as possible, until you get a solid grasp of them. One great way to so outside of the obvious inclusion in your warm ups before main work at the gym, is to include them into your everyday life as much as you can.
Try to stay away from couches and chairs for a while — get yourself a thick carpet and/or some mats for the house and start using them. When you are on the phone (use speakerphone to limit your exposure to powerful electromagnetic waves), watching a documentary, reading a book or simply spending some time with your friends, hang out in one of the outlined squat positions. Once you get tired from one, switch to another one, keep it moving. For example you can sit in the low Flat Footed Squat, than transition to the Cossack Squat, than Hunter Squat, than squat low on the balls of your feet, sit down on your butt, transition to another position, such as Hurdler or Shin Box, etc.
Everything is training and by literally living in various squat positions you will get accustomed to it fairly quick and it it will stop being a big deal — just another position to be in. Good mobility in the lower body is a great asset to have and it goes a long way. It will help you to build solid foundation for strength work, reduce or completely eliminate lower body injuries and just generally improve your quality of life, functional ability and functional independence.
Later, upon mastering the mobility aspect of the squat, you can start adding external load and become brutally strong in all of these positions. It will be huge help for any sport or real-world situation.
Enjoy the outlined Squat-Specific mobility exercises and make sure to practice them. Your hips and legs will be very grateful!