Squatting-Part 2

Posted by Connie K on

So last time I was explaining the first movement of the king of all workouts, the Squat.  On the way down, your shoulders are retracted, your chest is up, you stick you butt out, breaking at your hips before you break at the knees, and you’re staying on your heels and driving through your toes, spreading the floor with your feet. Simple right?  width= Once you master going down correctly, now you have to work on coming up. Problem (in the ascension, or coming up for the squat) The next most common problem I see with people who squat in the gym is during the ascension of the squat.  As one is driving up, the easiest mistake to spot in a squat is when the lifters knees come in.  This is usually caused by a multitude of problems, but the main one would be weak abductors.  Once your knees cave in, you lose tightness, form, and all signs of hip drive and that will usually result in a failed lift, or a really, really ugly squat. The solution: The first thing is to check the alignment of your feet.  It’s going to vary for everyone, but the squat stance should be definitely at least shoulder width if not wider with your toes pointed out.  This will give you the precursor to drive out with your knees, ankles, and toes, thus keeping your legs from coming in. In Part 1,  I explained that usually people don’t utilize their glutes and hamstrings as much as their quads in their squat.  I also talked about spreading the floor with your feet.  Usually if you can keep these two things in check, your alignment should be fine. The main thing to work on are your abductors and your adductors.  These are the muscles in your legs that control the force production when pressure comes either in or out on the knee.  There are actual machines that work this, but usually you see women on these machines but men can benefit from it as well.  It’s what me and my buddies call the “good girl, bad girl” machines, but their real names are the abduction and adduction machines. Throw a few set of these in at the end of your work out, trying really hard on focusing on that force on driving your knees out through your glutes. Things to remember for Squatting:
  1. Shoulders retracted back
  2. Chest Up
  3. Feet position slightly wider than shoulder width, toes out a bit
  4. Spread the ground with your feet, stay on your heels
  5. Break at your hips before your knees
  6. Drive through your heels, utilizing your glutes
  7. Pressure is put on driving your knees out
So now that you have these fundamentals down,  go out and squat, squat, squat!  I promise you not only will you get bigger legs, your craft as a whole, in whatever regards you’re training for, will benefit. Remember, form always, I repeat ALWAYS, comes before weight.  Once you get good form down, the heavy numbers will come, I promise you that. I If there are any questions or if you want me to critique your squat, leave a comment or a link to your squatting video below in the comment section. Happy Squatting, y’all!  width=Danny Quach is a senior at the University of Georgia and he’s studying Health Promotion and Behavior.  He’s a powerlifter at heart and has done it for over six years.  He just competed in his first bodybuilding show in Summer of 2011.  For powerlifting, he holds some Georgia records.  In his first bodybuilding competition, he placed 2nd in Novice in INBF Southern States.  On his spare time he’s a part of the University of Georgia’s cheerleading co-ed squads; his favorite past-time? Throwing girls around and catching them.