Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Squatting below parallel is safer than you think!

Can you squat to parallel? Or do you struggle with obtaining that range of motion? you know that feeling of squatting when your chest falls forward and your heels are off the floor.
If you struggle, or even if you can get all the way down but feel stiff doing so, then read on. I’m going to share six exercises that will help you get your squat to below parallel.
Squatting is the foundation of fitness. Why is this move so important? The squat is a powerful exercise that is one of the three big lifts in powerlifting, and it is a fantastic exercise to target not only the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, but also your entire body.
What happens when your squat falls a part? There are a few common errors I see when it comes to squatting:
-Inability to squat below parallel (without the heels coming off ground)
-Knees caving in
-Upper back collapsing and chest falls to the ground.
Poor hip mobility is most often due to poor postures and movement over time that have led to muscle imbalances. At the bottom of a squat, you need to have a substantial amount of hip flexion. If this range is limited, you may not be able to hit parallel.
In order to obtain full range of motion, you need enough dorsiflexion at the bottom of your squat so your heels do not come off the floor. Dorsiflexion restrictions can be very evident in squatting, and these restrictions can occur due to an injury (new or old), tight or overactive calves, or improper footwear (heels, orthotics) to name a few causes.
How do you fix this? Squat therapy. The therapy is based on four drills that can be used in any order and combination. Each drill will include use of an external object to help you achieve an ideal squat position. In addition to helping your body hit and maintain these optimal positions, these drills will help your body understand what your squat is meant to look and feel like, which has untold benefits.
The four drills are:
Wall Squat
Goblet Squat
Bar Squat
Pole Squat
Benefits from each of these drills will transfer well into any type of squatting activity - the benefits being directly proportional to time spent in therapy. As with most therapy, you can think of it as something of a black-box system. Give it due time and attention, let the magic happen, and come out the other side a better person - or at least a better squatter.

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