Tips on how to achieve the perfect squat.
Interestingly, although my main job is operating on bones and joints, I tend to discuss better fitness plans with patients when I see them in my office. I like to focus on preventive orthopaedic surgery just as much as I like surgically creating a new ACL for someone. I treat a lot of knee, hip, and ankle injuries and many studies have shown that keeping the core and glutes strong are the mainstay of preventing lower extremity injuries.
One of the words I find repeating A LOT is “SQUATS”. I say it so much that to patients it must seem like the “Golden Ticket” out of an injury. It is the WORKHORSE exercise for your body. It engages many of the largest muscle groups of the body. I emphasize squats to my patients because most of my patients are in stages where they can no longer just go out a play a basketball game without maintaining a structured strength and conditioning program.
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So, I would like to review THE PERFECT SQUAT. (Now, certainly there are different ways to do this—techniques in body-building, cross fit, and what we learned when we were playing college sports). I learn something from all of the strength and conditioning trainers with whom I work both personally and professionally.
The barbell squat starts with standing in front of a power rack. Adjust the pins so that the barbell would be slightly lower than your armpits. You can do this as well as just a body weight exercises and kill the added “iron”.
In a controlled, muscle contracted fashion, step up to the bar, step under it and unrack the bar. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Your feet should be slightly externally rotated as your perform a squat. During this you should be contracting your abs and glutes as well as controlling your breathing.
Take a deep breath, keep your torso straight and strong, contract your abdominal muscles and start lowering the barbell. It will feel like you are sitting on an invisible chair behind you. You will sense that your buttocks are being pushed back and it will be difficult to maintain a completely straight, upright position with the upper body, but keep working on it.
It would be beneficial to watch in a mirror as you do this step, as you should not let your knees go past your toes. Also keep your knees facing forward and do not let them cave in together.
YOU GOT THIS! Remember pain is weakness leaving the body.
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