We’ve all been there, rolling up to the squat rack on a Monday (Real OG’s squat on Mondays). You get under the bar and you just aren’t feeling it. The hips are locked up, the knees are straining and you just can’t drop it low. But you want to squat, you need to squat. So the short term solution kicks in. Stretch and foam roll till you can squat well enough, then load the bar and the weight will force you down.
Not a smart idea, here’s why:
- You have to spend 15 minutes warming up on Monday morning for squats
- Forcing your squat depth is like medieval torture where you forcefully stretch the body, it leads to injury
- It’s a short term solution meaning next Monday there goes another 15 minutes
What’s the solution?
The solution is simple: squat more. The more you squat, the better you’ll squat. Here’s a few different options:
- Add a low intensity or light weight squat to your other workouts and focus on depth and pausing at the bottom. Bonus: you’ll burn more calories and move better
- Give up squats, they don’t even build muscle or let you lift a lot. Stupid fit person squats are kids.
- Spend a little time outside of the gym in the squat position. Sitting on the toilet doesn’t count but twerking out does.
Options 1 and 3 are ideal. For option 1 you can literally just do 3 sets of squats a few times a week with your workouts that don’t focus on legs. Do whatever type of squat that makes your heart happy: goblet squats, front squats, high bar squats, just get down.
For option 3, my favorite option, you literally just practice sitting in a squat position with no weight. You ‘ll need decent mobility but once you get to this point your squat will improve exponentially.
If your mobility is decent try holding the Yoga Squat for 3 minutes total per day building up to 10 minutes (Feel free to wiggle and jiggle down there). Here’s what it “should” look like:
If that’s tough, take my lead and hold on to something in front of you or hold a weight in the goblet position. This keeps you more upright so it’s easier to get down in the squat. If I can do it jeans, you can definitely do it. Start with a few minutes a day and build up. If you can, do a few body weight reps in between holding the bottom position to reinforce the movement and make the mobility stick. Here’s how to do it:
Pick what works for you, get at it and get deep in those squats!