Image above: From my training camp for the Edmonton Oilers Octane. Photo by Home Grown Photography at High Definition Fitness in Edmonton, Alberta.
Learning the proper squat form is tough, especially if you are lacking flexibility which is preventing you to perform it properly.
The Parallel Squat requires a fair amount of hip and ankle flexibility to do it properly. The Full Squat requires even more. Which works better? The deeper the squat, the more effective it is in terms of working the muscle. It is however, harder to perform because of the amount of flexibility it requires.
Hip flexibility is probably the most common problem that prevents people form squatting properly. This is a matter of hip flexion. As your knee rises, hip flexion occurs (decrease in angle between the thigh and the pelvis).
If you notice your heels wanting to lift off the ground when you are squatting, ankle tightness is probably your problem. Find a series of stretches to improve your mobility and flexibility of your feet and ankles.
Wall Prisoner Squats are a drill I use to help improve people’s squat form. It’s very simple but can be a challenge to do properly. Doing it against the wall forces you to not bend forward, hinge at hip, push hip back, and forces you to place the majority of weight on your heels.
- Face the wall about a foot width away, with your feet shoulder width apart and turned slightly out.
- Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to promote good posture. Stick your chest out, and look straight ahead. Keep your spine in a neutral position (don’t over-arch nor round it).
- Push your hips back and lower yourself down into a squat position. Stick your glutes back, and keep the majority of your weight on your heels.
- Don’t allow your head, knees, or torso to touch the wall.
- To make it easier, move away from the wall slightly.
- To make it harder, move closer to the wall slightly.
Try it, share it, let me know what you think about it!