TIPS FOR SQUATTING BETTER•
Posted on May 15 2022
The squat might be perceived as one of the most straightforward exercises in the fitness library but it's often performed poorly.
Below are 7 top tips from Sonny Webster. An Olympian with vast experience of getting "ass to grass!!"
Take note and test them out on your next leg day...
- Take your time when you unrack - before you unrack, make sure that your position is correct and that you have created enough tension. This is extremely important to ensure that you’re able to stay upright and continue to breathe well throughout the period of the squat.
- Use the correct foot position - you want your feet just outside shoulder width for maximum depth. Too narrow and you’re gonna butt wink and lose tension… too wide and you’ll end up dropping your chest and (likely) miss the lift.
- Squat with the correct tempo - always ensure that you control the top phase of the squat as you descend. Rushing the descending phase will make it difficult for you to drive appropriately throughout the sticking point. Always think: slow descent, fast standing up.
- Brace correctly before descending - take a deep breath in and hold the breath until you’ve gone through the full range of the squat. Only exhale when you’ve passed the sticking point on the way out. If you try to breathe in the bottom of the squat, you can lose tension very easily.
- Lead with the elbows - when front squatting, as you hit your bottom position, think about leading with the elbows to enable you to stand up out the hole. This will help you keep your chest upright when you go through the sticking point and not let the elbows drop. You also want to take a slightly narrower grip when front squatting as this will help you keep a better front rack position.
- Pay attention to your eye level - when you set yourself up for the squat, pick something just above eye level to focus on for the duration of the squat. If your eye line drops, or you begin to look at the floor, the likelihood is that the hips will shoot back and the chest will drop. This will put you in a compromised position when driving through your sticking point.
- Elevate the heels - if you struggle with mobility, elevate your heels so that you can find better depth. Using a weightlifting specific shoe, or putting smaller weights under your heel will help with this.