Everyone loves a squat right?
Here are my 3 top tips to help you along the way.
From a previous article about the importance of bracing your core, this is a huge factor to increase the performance in the back squat.
Being able to keep that strong shape through your torso under load is SO important, not only to hit a good squat, but for your own safety.
Big breath in. Expand 360º through your trunk. Maintain that through the lift until your are stood back up in a neutral position.
Watch the video below. You can see the lifters belly expand as he is about to squat, this is a perfect example on bracing correctly.
2. DRIVE YOUR KNEES OVER YOUR TOES
There’s an old myth, a bit of a stigma really, about your knees not going past your toes. I even see it being posted on socials nowadays that “your knees shouldn’t go past your toes… IT’S DANGEROUS!”.
Well actually, that’s misinformation. Your knees are perfectly safe to track over your toes. Have you ever seen olympic lifters? Just take a look at how far they allow the knees to track, and they are some of the best squatters in thew world!
Check out the picture below. You can see without the knees tracking over the toes it’s a very unbalanced squat (left). Compared to the right, where you can see how close the barbell sits to his centre of mass, from driving his knees forwards.
3. PUSH WITH YOUR WHOLE FOOT
Ever heard the cue “weight through your heels”? Well again, this is misinformation. We want to keep the barbell aligned with our centre of mass, which is over the middle of our foot.
A strong arch in our foot is key to keeping a stable squat. if our arch collapses, usually our knees follow and you end up with Valgus (knees caving in) but this can also be caused by different factors, not just a weak foot.
Instead of shifting your weight through your heels and throwing yourself off balance, think about driving your big toe, little toe and heel through the floor. Keep your feet “screwed” into the ground.
Ps. We have a fantastic series on ground contact by Sam, so be sure to check those posts out. Click here to have a read.