May 15th, 2022
The squat…while it may seem like a simple move, it’s actually a very technical exercise that takes time and effort to perfect. But trust us, it’ll be worth it because once you master the squat, the results are amazing (Hello, awesomely toned glutes and thighs!) So, whether you’re pinching in your hips or not getting deep enough, we can help with these tips on how to improve your squat.
Tip #1: Improve the range of motion in your ankle.
At Driven Fit + Sponaugle, one of the most common causes of incorrect squat form is due to limited ankle mobility. You can determine if this is an issue by squatting with your heels elevated on plates. If the motion feels better, you’ve got to improve the range of motion in your ankles.
The Fix: Before you start your squat sesh, warm up your ankles with these stretches:
- Knee-to-Wall Stretch: With one heel on the ground, raise your knee on the opposite leg to touch the wall. You’ll feel this stretch in the bank of your calf.
- Banded Ankle Dorsiflexion: Wrap a band around your ankle and lean forward. The band will provide resistance against your ankle as you stretch forward.
- Squat Prying: Position yourself into a deep squat, then lean back and forth to get a good stretch in both ankles.
Tip #2: Know how your body moves.
Not all hips are created equal! We all move differently and have different amounts of natural hip rotation. The natural rotation of your hips will dictate your squat stance (wider or more narrow) and the direction of your toes (turned in or out).
The Fix: Play around with different foot positions until you find the stance that feels the most comfortable with your natural range of motion.
Tip #3: Improve your hip mobility.
Do you feel your hips “pinching” when you go down into a squat position? This issue commonly occurs with individuals who do not have good hip flexion or rotation.
The Fix: Improve your hip flexibility with these stretches.
- Half-Kneeling Hip Stretch: Go down on one knee and bring your opposite knee as close to your chest as possible.
- Pigeon Stretch: Using an exercise mat, lay flat on your stomach. Bend one of your legs and move to the front (near your arms). While keeping your hips straight, extend the opposite leg with your foot resting on the mat.
- Frog Stretch: Place both knees and hands on the floor or an exercise mat. Turn your toes outward to rotate the leg. Move back and forth repeatedly while maintaining this position.
- Deep Squat Hold: Position yourself in a deep squat with your toes pointed outward. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
Master the squat at Driven Fit + Sponaugle!
Correct form is the key to getting results and not getting injured! If you need help in this department, contact our South Tampa fitness and wellness center at (813) 440-3016 to learn more about our private, semi-private, and virtual training as well as our group fitness classes and wellness services.
Categories: Personal Training