How to teach yourself to squat correctly (2 ways)
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Disclaimer: please consult with your physician before attempting any exercise.
Squatting is 1 of 5 basic movements of the human body (depending on the text you reference there can be as may as 7). Learning to squat correctly will help you help you avoid injury.
I will demonstrate 2 ways I teach my clients how to squat. One way works for better for some, while the other works better for others. So try them both to see one works best for your body.
First let me demonstrate how NOT to squat.
Squatting in this manner places stress on the knees. This is what is called a very quad dominant squat. The kind of squat we want is one that gets the gluteus involved as well.
First, the "Bottom up Squat". This teaches the motor pattern from the ground up. The brain/body tends to get this pattern better when it is perform from the ground up. This is one of my favorites.
From standing, reach down and grab your toes.
Without letting go of your toes, squat down so that your elbows are inside your knees.
Now make your chest as big as possible and let go of your toes to stand up.
Next is the "box squat" or "chair squat". This mimics the movement of squatting to sit in a chair. If you can't get into a deep squat due to pain or lack of mobility, this one would probably be best.
Stand a few inches in front of a chair. Cross your elbows in front of you and raise them to shoulder height.
Sit back, butt first, onto the chair. While descending raise your elbows high. This makes sure the you extend you upper back and maintain good posture.
Preform this movement several times to groove the pattern.
A lot of people I work with have trouble squatting due to a lack of mobility around the ankle. In the next slides I will show you how you can correct that until you gain more strength and mobility.
Grab two items of similar height or thickness (here I grabbed 2 books).
Place them under your heels. Now, placing your weight toward your heel and mid foot squat down. For most this tends to be easier because we shortend the range of motion around the ankle.
Once you gain more mobility around your ankle and strengthen. You we be able to do squats without a heel lift. If you have any questions please feel free to comment. Have a good one SG!