The squat is one of our four main compound movements that we focus on here at BBB.
A movement that tests us physically and mentally, the benefits of standing up with a heavy load on your back is a truly empowering feeling.
The squat is a fantastic movement that engages multiple muscle groups, primarily focusing on your quads, hamstrings and glutes.
Here are our top pointers to help improve your squats:
1. Focus on technical progression first and foremost
Setting a solid and safe foundation for optimal movement patterns is a non negotiable. Don’t be in a rush to want to add weight to your bar. Practice your squat pattern over and over again. Every rep that you perform must be treated like a heavy load.
2. Mobilise and activate
Yeah we get it- we just want to get under a barbell too…..If we don’t mobilise and release tight muscles your squats will look and feel like crap. We need to take the time to give our muscles and joints the TLC required to get into this movement freely and safely. Ensure you don’t half ass your activation drills. If your muscles are not engaged and ready to work, technical breakdowns will occur. The boring stuff matters and what makes PB’s!
3. Find what is suited to you
The way one lifter squats will not necessarily be the way you squat. Your bar position may be different on you back. Your stance may be wider than someone else. Your hip mobility may be a limiting factor at this point. This may mean you need a different variation before you progress to a barbell back squat. Remember, our bodies are wonderfully different. Comparing your squats to someone else on instagram will not solve your squat problems. Recognise your structure and limitations and work with them- not against them
4. Plug in accessories (and don’t neglect them)
Accessory movements are hard. They target the weaker points of your lifts and your muscle groups. You are quite literally focusing on making your weaknesses stronger so it should come as no surprise that your accessory movements may be challenging. Your accessory movements are just that- an accessory to your compound movement. Put as much effort into these as you do your main squat movement. If you are struggling to drive through your sticky point mid lift, build your quads and don’t stop when you feel that burn. If you are crumbling in the bottom of the hole, don’t rush your pause holds at the bottom (your Coach can tell 😉
5. Track your training
Vary your reps and sets over time and monitor your volume. In order to get stronger, we must make changes in your overall volume. This refers to the amount of weight you lift in a given period of time. Changing your sets, reps along with your allocated weight is something that we need to track. Do you do really well with a rep range of 6 at 60% to help address a technical breakdown? As soon as your hit 75% do you forget all your technical cues and turn into lizard brain? If you aren’t tracking your sets, reps and weight then this is a must.
Happy Squatting ladies!