When it comes to injury prevention and performance enhancement, there are few exercises that get more coverage than the squat. It is very functional for day to day life and great for building lower body strength to protect the lower back, knees and hips. It is also a great exercise for runners, building strength in one of the key muscle groups needed for efficient running. As with all exercises – the key to getting the most out of squats is good technique.
While there are a variety of different squats, it is important to always start with a good foundation, so this blog will cover a bodyweight squat.
A very important part of performing a squat well is to initiate movement at the hips. Rather than leaning forward with the trunk, you should focus on sending the hips backwards. The hips should travel backwards and down – very similar to sitting down in a chair. In fact using a chair, box or bench as a prompt can be helpful for learning the correct movement.
A well performed squat is a great lower body strength exercise because it works multiple muscles. However ensuring the glutes are activated and doing the majority of the work is key. See our blog on glute activation here.
A good squat should also feature a neutral spine – that is the natural curvatures of the spine that we see in standing should be maintained throughout the squat movement.
If you want to learn how to do a great squat or you have an injury that is limiting you from squatting well book in to Barefoot Physio for individualised care and advice.