Squats are often considered a leg workout, but really they challenge the entire body. They are one of the most versatile exercises around, and are great for translating in to everyday life… Especially if done correctly.
This article won’t cover all squatting faults, but here are a few of the more common ones.
Keeping your heels on the floor when you squat can be hard, and usually indicates limited range of motion in the ankle. Poor dorsiflexion means your heels will come off the ground, or you won’t be able to squat as deep. Mobility work aimed at the calves and ankles will help free this up, but it can be slow going.
Mobility work – calves and ankle
When squatting, a neutral spine is recommended to minimize injury, particularly when heavy weights are involved. However most squatters tend to tuck their pelvis under as they reach the deepest part of their squat, also known as a ‘butt wink’. Often squatting on to a box can help prevent that bum tucking underneath, and each week slowly decreasing the height of the box.
Mobility work – hamstrings, iliopsoas
Valgus Knees (Knee Collapse)
Knees collapsing inwards when squatting places huge amounts of stress on the inside of your ankles, knees and transfer up to the low back. Ideally, your knees should track over the middle of your foot. Keeping your knees pushed out and activating your outer hip muscles will also help create torque in your squat, and help you push harder.
Mobility work – adductors
Ankle Pronation (Ankle Collapse)
The knees collapsing inwards are usually accompanied by the ankles. This is known as ankle pronation, or in simple terms the outside of your foot will lift off the ground while the inside takes more weight. Poor ankle dorsiflexion can play a part here also, as if your ankles will roll in to compensate for the lack of movement. Ankle pronation will create a loss of stability through your squat and can hinder your progression.
Mobility work – calves and ankles
These may or may not apply to each of you, but if there is something you’ve noticed about your squat pattern then its best to jump on to it early. Addressing these issues earlier can help prevent injury and keep you moving better and stronger for longer. Quick remedies help you take the first step in fixing your squat patterns, but the best results come from constant continued attention to the problem.
For more information or an assessment of your movement patterns, posture or current injury please call your Chiropractor at AHS on 9948 2826 or visit our clinic at 9/470 Sydney Rd in Balgowlah servicing the surrounding suburbs of Allambie, Balgowlah Heights, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly on the Northern Beaches.
Image Credit: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet https://flic.kr/p/BUUcxx