Squats, often called the king of all exercises, are one of the most foundational functional movements in our library of exercises.

This compound (uses more than one joint) exercise develops full body strength, and works the entire lower body, specifically the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and the muscles that make up the calves.Although squats are great, not everyone is ready to actually do them. A common issue that impedes the lifter from performing the perfect squat is depth.This can be either because of poor mobility (ability to perform the squat movement unrestricted) or poor stability (being able to control their body through the range of motion).

Tight ankles, shortened hip flexors, tight hamstrings, weak glutes, and poor pelvic alignment are all factors. You can improve these by performing mobility drills and dynamic stretches.

Many lifters also place a small weight plate (5-10 lb) under their heels to help them hit a deeper squat (as seen in the picture). By putting the plate under their heels they are compensating for a lack of ankle mobility. Losing this mobility will not allow our shins to move forward naturally as we squat down.

Another issue for lifters is they haven’t been shown the “correct way” to squat.

Bad habits are hard to change, so it’s important you learn the proper way to squat. Stand with your feet wider than your hips, toes pointed slightly outward. Keep your back straight, with your neutral spine, and your chest and shoulders up. Look straight ahead, breathe, and send your hips backwards as your knees begin to bend. It’s important that you start with your hips back, and not by bending your knees for the movement.

As you lower yourself down, avoid “knee kicking” (knees caving in). A simple cue of “push your knees out”, or as my coach Freak Fitness would say “push your F&$&% knees out!!” can fix the problem immediately.

Once you learn to correct these issues, you will realize how awesome squats are!

Hope this helps, please share!