Friday, January 18, 2008

The Squat

A good squat with correct form starts at the head and ends at the feet. One can use a stick behind the neck or above the head. We prefer to use something overhead to "kick in" or activate the core muscles. A little forward bend is allowed to keep center of gravity. Too much forward bend can indicate muscle imbalance (In the video, you can observe some core weakness as I perform the squat and the stick comes a little too far forward ;)). Knees, hips, and ankles should stay in alignment throughout the movement. If performing in a mirror, observe "favoring" one side to the other or rotating one way to another. This can be a sign of weakness or decreased mobility or both. Varying opinions are out there about proper foot alignment. I like to have my feet straight or rotated out slightly. More importantly, the heels should stay flat on the floor. How far should I go? Lots of opinions on this one also. If you look at the activity you are training for, let's say running, you'll see that your knees go out over your toes and your hips need mobility and stability (for efficient stride). I like to go to 90-90 (that is, thighs to parallel). Take note: I would rather do a smaller range of movement (not so far down) correctly, than doing a larger movement incorrectly. Quality of movement over quantity. Later we will show some simple exercises to help correct some of the imbalances commonly observed during a squat.

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