The squat is one of the BIG 3 – Deadlift, Benchpress and The Squat.
There are other olympic lifts however these are the three you should seek to master before moving onto level two lifts.
I would also include front squats into the list as a necessary variation.
The keys to a squat are initial confidence, ankle and hip mobility and the ability to move and control your body weight into these positions PRIOR to any excess loads.
Master body weight first and work on the foundation of the squat and learn to understand the position you need to be in to execute this skill well.
- Feet grounded to the floor
- Screw knee and leg to align with direction of foot
- Push through the floor and seek to spread the floor
- Squat to the point that hips are just below the knee
- Learn to execute pause squats and always control the movement
- Don’t allow the knees to buckle in on the rise however ensure power and intent is in place
- Hold and brace your midline for the entire movement
- Always engage core and earn to breathe and hold whilst engaged when loads are involved
- If you need to rest your midline engagement, rack the barbell and take a break
If you have mobility issues with your ankles or hips I recommend that you spend time resolving these restrictions before you test your body too much with loaded squats.
Mobility takes time however it is always worth it as your body always needs maintenance and we can always improve our current mobility.
I will share some exercises for these in some later blogs and videos.
Front squats are a great variation and they change the loading stimulus through the body.
This skill is a precursor to being able to do any olympic cleans which is a dynamic olympic lift and requires ample mobility and flexibility.
Again, always maintain your feet and knew structure as this is the foundation.
Erin here demonstrating good olympic barbell alignment over her body and down to the middle of her foot for optimum balance and control.
I feel she could come back just a little after looking at this photo however we can’t be too critical when analysing photos as they are just a moment in time and do not express the actual event in true light.
See how my knees run with the foot and the fact I have them slightly splay allows more movement within the hip and allows me to enter a deeper squat..
This photo was taken whilst I was completing my Level 1 Weightlifting course with the Australian Weightlifting Federation in 2016.
I always recommend people do these course and you do not need to be a personal trainer or a coach to do so.
It is a learning experience and we are all still learning everyday to improve.
That is my aim as a coach and as a human.
I hope this article added some value to your training and I am always open for questions.
Have a great day.