When it comes to improving your squat it seems like articles focus mostly on how to stretch and gain more mobility. You will also see lots of articles on changing your foot positioning, what shoes to wear, how to add chains to the barbell... all kinds of things. Before you buy special shoes or a bucket full of chains, we're going to do things a little different here!
We're going to spend time in the bottom position, crazy right! Sometimes, stretching or performing various mobility work doesn't translate into what we're hoping. This makes a little sense here, if we're trying to improve a position like the squat, why would we spend the majority of our time rolling around on the ground stretching rather than in the squat position? The problem is, it's very difficult for most people to even get into that position, let alone spend time.
If we utilize a band and hook it up to a squat rack or door frame in front of us and pull it into our chest before we descend, something magical happens... our center of gravity changes! Much like various barbell positions (front squat vs back squat) can change our center of gravity, we can utilize a band to do the same thing.
Why a band? I like using a band rather than holding a goblet squat or front rack position for longer periods of time because it's easier on the upper body (especially the shoulders) to maintain the band pulled into your chest tightly and is just more comfortable!
Generally, this will allow most of us (not all of us, sorry) to descend with our torso a little more upright and will keep our core engaged so we can practice building stiffness and maintaining it throughout the lift, especially coming out of the bottom position. Check out the video below!
We can add a little more to stack things in our favor. If you still had a little difficulty getting comfortable in that bottom position we can try rolling out our hips and glutes before trying it again. This should help that tissue relax a little and open up those hips.
WHO IS THIS TECHNIQUE FOR?
If you have good mobility but still can't get comfortable in a squat.
If you your adductors and hips feel tight in the bottom position.
If you feel like you lose power coming "out of the hole" or up from the bottom position.
Can goblet or front squat well but can't seem to squat comfortably in a back squat.
WHO IS THIS TECHNIQUE NOT FOR?
If you have pain, get it checked out by a medical professional!
Those of you looking for a quick 2-second fix.
Those who have no problems squatting... why are you even reading this!
Dr. Henry is a sports chiropractor in Camas Washington. If you have any questions or have requests for future blog posts of videos please fill out the form and let me know!