Sitting in a squat is the most natural movement for the human body. Here’s a simply how-to on how to fix your squat.
The joints and muscles you need to recruit for squatting — hips, knees, ankles, core, quads, glutes, and more — are your foundation of everything from walking to running, swinging a golf club, and doing yard work.
If you can’t squat properly, your joints are probably too stiff and your muscles too tight.
Do your knees, hips, or back often hurt for seemingly random reasons?
Test Your Squat
Hips and/or Core
This test tells you whether your problem is tight hips or a weak core. Lie on your back and assume a squat position: bring your knees as close to your chest as you can. If you can’t get them past your hips, they’re too tight. If you can bring your knees high, then your core isn’t strong or stable enough to support your squat position while standing.
Your ankles must flex enough to let your knees track over your feet. This allows you to distribute your weight evenly. The above test tells you whether your ankles are too stiff. Stand in a staggered stance facing a wall, your front foot about 5 inches away. Push your front knee as far forward as you can, attempting to touch the wall. If your knee can’t touch, work on some ankle flexibility and mobility.
Fix Your Squat
Hold on to a door jamb, the frame of a squat rack, or a chair. Drop into a squat using the object to stabilize just enough to keep from falling without using it as a crutch. Keep your torso upright and you should feel your core engage. Breathe deeply in this position for up to 30 seconds. Release your hands and try to stand up without falling back. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps, 3 days per week as a supplement to your training program.
Get down on all fours and straighten your left leg; your knee should be above the floor. Move your right foot beneath your left leg and pin your right heel to the outside of your left knee. This is the starting position. Now move your hips back and forth for 1 minute, feeling your hip stretch. Switch sides and repeat. Do this drill 1-2 times daily.
Repeat the ankle test, above, for 3 sets of 5 reps every day. Additionally, foam roll or use Yoga TuneUp therapy balls on each calf for 1 minute each day. Sit on the floor and place the roller or ball under your calf. Roll up and down, side to side, for 60-90 seconds. Repeat on your other calf.
A Life-Changing Skill…
In conclusion, learning how to fix your squat and learning to squat properly is a life changer. You’ll notice fewer aches and pains. You’ll reduce your risk of injury. You’ll build more muscle across your body. Best of all, you’re likely to see your performance improve in just about every activity you do.