Squat Improvements

written by Alys Weeks

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I’ve always been a dancer and so spent a lot of time in a plie! But when it came to Squats I had to start from the beginning. My mobility in my hips was poor and couldn't hold a deep squat without holding on to a TRX for dear life.

Now I’m hitting overhead Squats and its become a favourite of mine. The journey to get there has been educational, progressive and individual.

We are all beautifully unique so finding your Squat is vital. Limb length, hip alignment, ankle range and spine flexibility all play their part but what you start with isn’t what you’ll finish with.

I had good ankle mobility but lacked hip flexion meaning I had an excessive forward lean in my torso and didn't get below parallel at my hips.


The Tests - Hip Range and Alignment


Good hip range

Can bring thigh to chest with ease and without spine curling

Able to keep opposite leg flat on the bench and relaxed



Limited hip range

Unable to bring thigh to chest without opposite leg lifting





External (left) and Internal (right) rotation

As shown in the photos there is limited external but quiet significant internal.






Exercises


Hip Opener using a kettlebell to shift weight in to the working hip. We squeeze the working side Glute first before shifting the weight across. You can play around with the foot placement and the degree to which it is turned out. Remember everyones hips are different.



Deep Squat Plate Hold after finding your optimal foot position and width we need to mobilise the bottom section. By holding the weight it creates a better balance allowing us to stay in the stretch.





Deep Squat Plate Drop now it’s time to switch on all areas needed for your Squats! Holding a 5kg plate come into your deep Squat, reach the plate out in front and drop! You’ll probably find you fall backwards!! Now we need to squeeze and hold tension in the Glutes and Core so we can hold the position after losing the counter balance from the plate.



Methodical progressive changes over a sustained period of time have made significant impact to my Squat and to my training. I never miss my warm up routine to give myself the best possibility of success.

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Written by Alys Weeks and published on Wednesday 8th December 2021 at 11:27

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