If you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you the benefits of squatting deeper. But just in case you forgot, they include stimulating more muscle, developing and retaining greater range of motion, burning more calories, catching more cleans and snatches, and dipping it even lower in the club. So without further ado, 3 ways to get deeper:
1. SQUAT MORE OFTEN
And I don’t mean in the gym. We’re all aware of the fact that Western cultures don’t squat as well as others, where it’s common to see elderly citizens squat ass to grass, just to chill. Why is this? Because they never stopped squatting. As children we all possess beautiful full range of motion squats and will use them all the time when we drop our crayons/fidget spinners to the ground. However as we grow up, we start sitting in chairs all the time and train our bodies to stop at about parallel, ingraining that partial pattern into our nervous system instead. No bueno.
By using the squat position more often we tell our nervous system that it is important, and that we need to make it more comfortable to sit in. Squat when you’re plugging in your phone charger. Squat when you’re getting something out of the bottom cupboard. Squat when you’re hanging out your laundry. Squat when sorting through paperwork on the floor*. Any excuse you can, squat.
The more time you spend sitting at the bottom of your squat, especially if performing a task which requires some coordinated movement, the more you will encourage your body and nervous system to make it more efficient (i.e. provide the appropriate level of tension in surrounding muscles, which lets you drop deeper). Rearranging the weights on the bottom shelf at the gym also has the added benefit of making you popular with coaching staff 😉
*I accept no liability for split suit trousers if you do this at the office.
2. SQUAT WITH MORE VARIETY
Not just front squat, back squat, overhead squat. Not even just regular goblet squat. Try a prying goblet squat where you lower the KB down to one foot at a time to shift the weight into different corners of the squat. Squat with weird foot positions. Squat and twist. Squat and reach; forwards, up, left, right.
By adding in these variables, we emphasise different aspects of the squat, all of which contribute to the ‘standard’ squat pattern. If you can squat in narrow stance with one toe in and reaching across with the opposite hand, then guess what, your regular squat is going to feel easier and you’ll be able to drop into more depth.
I mentioned in a previous blog that restrictions can cross planes of motion so by adding all these variables, we can work through mobility limitations, without stretching/foam rolling, again encouraging more depth in the saggital plane that we all care about.
A couple of simple examples here:
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Pimp your pistols Improve your range in the bottom of your pistol squat with this simple drill. By working into and out of end range in all three planes of motion and developing skill there we can teach the body to be much more comfortable in the standard pistol position. Great as a warm up for your pistols or a long term strategy to improve your mobility. Try 5 in both directions of the 3 planes of motion. Progress with a lower box and by reaching further. Key cues: planted foot stays flat and put as much weight as possible through it and not the reaching foot. #pistolpistol #pistolsquat #pistol #squat #mobility #mobilitywod #romwod #triplanar #crossfitmobility #crossfituk #crossfit #hipsdontlie #deepsquat #squatitlikeitshot #glutes #quads #fitness #fitfam #fitspo #fmh #functional #movement #hacks
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Want to deepen your #squat? Build this drill into your warm-up. Drop into the bottom of your squat as close to a wall as possible. Use a marker either side of you to reach for, accurately. Push them out to a challenging distance WITHOUT lifting your heels. Perform 10 touches each side. By developing skill in the frontal plane and encouraging abduction and adduction at the hips in the bottom position, we teach the body to accept new range of motion and get ourselves a deeper squat. Progress the drill with wider markers or by getting closer to the wall. #filtertohidethesweat #functional #movement #hacks #fmh #crossfit #flexibility #rangeofmotion #squatdeep #tighthips #hipsdontlie