This is NOT another article on how to fix your squat using just three exercises. I hate those and the interwebs is full of articles on how to fix your squat with only a handful of exercises that may not even apply to you. Instead of teaching exercises, let’s look at a system that can be utilised to assess any potential issues to then follow a simple step by step process that allows you to find what works for you to fix your squat. Be warned, it’s long, detailed and comes with so much detail it will most likely take you a week to get through it just like when you sign up to my Unlock Your Movement program.
Step 1: Screen, Test or Assess
This one should go without saying. If you have problem or pain in your squat and you’re not conducting some basic assessments to see where the problem may be, you might be wasting a hell of a lot of time. Some screens or assessments you should use to assess your squat are:
- Ankle mobility
- Hip extension, internal and external hip rotation
- Overhead squat
You can test all of these using my 10 Step Self Screen found here. This will allow you to isolate any potential weaknesses to work on to make the most of your time.
Step 2: Mobilise
Once you have completed the screen and found any issues you need to work on in order to fix your squat, you will need to mobilise the pattern. Mobilisation is a useful tool to prepare yourself for training but also effective when it comes to moving the needle towards a pain free squat pattern. Methods can include trigger point therapy and mobilisation techniques such and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation techniques or PNF stretching.
Step 3: Stabilise
Gaining range of motion through mobilisation has become extremely popular in recent years. It’s simple way to really impact your movement ability and fix your squat if you spend a large amount of time in sedentary positions or if you train regularly and have tension, tightness or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). What we often forget especially when it comes to preparation for activity is stability through range. This can be achieved a number of ways but in order to fix your squat, you need to be able to move through range of motion in a stable fashion
Step 4: Integrate
Once we’ve prepared for movement through our various mobility and stability it’s time to select the right squat movement for your level of ability or goal. If we have highlighted any asymmetries within our squat it also makes a lot of sense to isolate each side in split stance exercises such as the bulgarian split squat and single leg exercises such as the airborne lunge or pistol squat. Don’t forget movements laterally also such as the cossack squat get you out of the sagittal plane in order to improve things like lateral hip stability. Start with high reps and low weight to allow your body to adjust over time.
So there you have it, a masterclass in how to fix your squat. No doubt there’s probably a lot of information in here you don’t necessarily need right now so remember to always screen the movement, find the weaknesses or issues and work down the line in the mobilise, stabilise and integrate approach. Once you cease to see the benefits, start going across the problem trying different techniques, movements and exercises to make sure you’re covering all the bases. Don’t forget to periodically screen to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
Finally, if you can’t fix it yourself find a coach or someone who can!