How to squat correctly

How to squat properly: a complete guide

Biomechanics of squats

When the turn of the squat comes, many simply climb under the barbell, remove it from the stops and begin the exercise. Not the best strategy. You must have a solid plan of action, starting with taking the starting position and ending with getting out from under the projectile.

Preparation for work

Stand under the barbell and lock it on your back in the desired position. Remember, your center of gravity is in the same plane as the center of your foot, and your working weight should remain in that plane. Take a deep breath. Squeeze your buttocks and push your pelvis forward to remove the bar from the stops.

After you have removed the projectile, you can move away from the rack. I do this in three steps because it’s easier, more efficient, and more reliable. Having removed the barbell, let it calm down, do not rush to step back. When you’re ready, take a small step with one foot. With your leg locked in a stable position, take a slightly larger step with your other leg. Finally, rearrange the first leg so that both legs are in line.

Now you can correct the position of the feet. I do not advise placing your feet too close together or too wide. Position your feet as if you are about to make a jump from a place.

Remember, your center of gravity is in the same plane as the center of your foot, and your working weight must remain in that plane.

The next important point: you should not turn the stops too much. If the pivot angle is close to 45 degrees, you have overdone it. In fact, it is very simple to give your feet an optimal position: as soon as you remove the barbell and take the starting position, tighten your gluteal muscles. This will naturally rotate your feet to the correct angle.

Breath

Most athletes give too little oxygen to the muscles when working with large weights. Before squatting, imagine that this is your last breath, and in a second the whole room will be filled with water. Taking a deep breath will help you tighten your abdominal wall and engage your deep abdominal muscles. In addition, taking a deep breath and then holding the breath will make it easier for you to keep your back in a neutral position.

Taking a deep breath, contract your abdominal muscles, push the abdominal wall forward, but do not exhale. At the same time, do not try to “squeeze” the abdominal muscles, but, as it were, push the abdominal wall outward. Imagine that I want to punch you in the stomach. What would you do in this case? You would be tense. Do the same while squatting. The abdominal wall helps stabilize the lower back. Be sure to make sure she’s tense.

Hip movement

Many people refer to squats as up and down movements. In fact, it is also a forward and backward movement. Draw in full lungs of air, contract the muscles of your torso, engage your gluteus muscles and begin to move your hips back. Sit down between your legs.

By using the muscles in your thighs, glutes and lower back, you are using the strongest and largest muscle mass in your body. If you do everything correctly, then, having reached the bottom point, you should begin to rise naturally.

Once you start climbing, think about more than just going up. Contract your glutes and guide your hips forward. Even if you’re halfway there, block the urge to jerk upward and keep thinking about moving your hips forward.

After finishing the squat, tighten your gluteal muscles. This will help you perfectly align your spine and hips in the same plane as the barbell.

Knees

While lowering, turn your knees outward so that they point in the same direction as your toes. Prevent your knees from collapsing inward or forward. Moving your knees forward stretches your calf muscles, which forces you to lean forward as well. Where does this lead? Leaning forward too much risks bending your back, which is very dangerous.

In addition, moving your knees forward can force you to stop ahead of time, and full-range squats are needed to maximize strength and mass.

How to squat correctly

While lowering, turn your knees outward so that they point in the same direction as your toes. Prevent your knees from collapsing inward or forward

Back position

I constantly hear how mentors demand from their charges that they keep their backs straight. In general, this is correct, but there is one caveat. Even if you really want to keep your back upright, the angle will change depending on your physique. If you have long thighs and a short torso, you will have to lean forward more to squat deep enough to hold the bar over the center of your foot. People with short thighs and a long torso will find it easier to stay in a near-upright position.

No matter how far you lean forward, keep your back in a neutral position. In the neutral position, your back remains straight even when you lean forward. The danger comes when you do the so-called pelvic “nod” and round your lower back.

Depth

A squat is considered deep enough if your hip joints drop below the level of your knees. In my opinion, squatting should be as deep as possible without risk of injury. Of course, people with long legs find it more difficult to squat deep enough without a pelvic nod. However, almost everyone can learn to do deep enough squats.

Boom trajectory

In any phase of the squat, the bar should remain in a plane that passes through the center of the foot, or be in close proximity to this plane. In this case, the bar is directly above your center of gravity and you can transfer maximum force from your legs to the bar.

Boom trajectory