Let’s get into Tips to Improve Your Squat! Squats are one of the most effective exercises for building leg and glute strength and getting the most bang for your buck in terms of optimizing your fitness routine. As I said in my last article, I believe if you do exercise regularly, mastering your squat should be high on the priority list in this season of life.
Over the course of the years, our body can develop tightness and tension patterns which leads to restricted range of motion. Having personally spent years improving my mobility I am now reaping the benefits of it all and as I teach my clients to do the same, they too are reaping the benefits, feeling stronger, and feeling clarity & confidence around their routine.
Let’s discuss my top 5 tips to improve your squat and get the most out of this powerful exercise.
1. Mobilize Your Hip Rotation.
The first and most important tip to improve your squat is to Mobilize Your Hips so you can move efficiently before loading and ensure proper form. Mobilizing your hip rotation ensures that you are using the all the correct muscles and reducing the risk of injury. Hip mobility does not equal stretching your hip flexor. I have a few effective exercises that helped myself as well as my clients see results from mobilizing their hip internal rotation and hip external rotation. I have simple guided tutorials in my Optimal Health Membership platform that make it really digestible as to how to mobilize your hips. Feel free to join us in the membership where you get access to loads of bite-sized videos to help you improve your health & fitness in this season of life.
2. Strengthen Your Deep Core
A strong deep core is essential for allowing your body to sit back while keeping your back straight. Often times we lean forward after we reach a certain depth in the squat. This is often due to a weak core and maybe even weak ankles. Working your deep core muscles will provide stability for the pelvis, hips, and spine. The main deep core exercise I recommend is the Isometric deadbug. I also cue this one and its progressions in the membership platform.
3. Increase Your Pelvic & Low Back Mobility.
A good squat requires moveability of the pelvis. If the pelvis doesn’t tilt it’s often due to a tight thoracolumbar spine or tight inner thighs which I will address in the next point. We definitely want the lumbar spine to be stable but we also need it to tilt and have enough moveability. This is done easily by using the foam roller and active drills to get a feel for your pelvic motion.
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4. Increase the strength of your Glute Medius.
You’ve likely heard of exercises like clam shells. Yes very important as the glute medius is typically weak unless there is specific training done to strengthen it. Strengthening the Glute Medius along with type #1 will allow you to engage the most # of fibers in your glute therefore preventing knee injuries and a valgus squat from using too much inner thighs. The inner thighs will simply compensate if the glute medius is not strong and active. We have LOTS of Glute Medius Strengthening option on the Membership site, including a full module on how to fix your squat!
5. Have about 2-4 Different Variations of Squats.
Finally, to improve your squat, you need to vary your routine. Performing the same squat variation every workout can lead to a plateau in your progress. Incorporate different types of squats, such as front squats, goblet squats, and smith machine squats, into your routine. Doing this puts different muscles under tension and will allow your squat to be more transferrable into other areas of life and give you a fuller looking booty!
In closing, I believe it is very worth your time to do the above 5 tips. It will also help slow down the mind and body as you become patient and really tap into your tissues vs. Rushing through your workout increasing cortisol levels. I’m a big advocate of working out smarter, especially in this season of life. Not only will you be strong and fit into your later years, you will feel mobile, strong, and injury free now!
If you would like step-by-step guidance and follow along videos, feel free to check out the Optimal Health Membership platform which not only contains loads of mobility and strength exercises, but also a lot of important tips and tricks on how to Optimize Your Body, Fitness, and Nutrition in this season of life to avoid burnout, injuries, and illness.