5 Tips To Get You Squatting Deeper

5 TIPS TO GET YOU
SQUATTING DEEPER
April 24, 2014
by ASP Admin

Following our recent post discussing the benefits of squatting squat ‘arse to grass’ we have here a much-needed follow up post providing five tips for HOW you can perform such an essential, but somewhat difficult exercise, and safely. As always with these topics they are likely to generate questions and queries, so please feel free to Contact Us or post your questions, feedback, and experiences on our Facebook Page.

1. Stretch Your Calves

Often the main reason you may not able to go deeper in your squats is tight calves. Try loosening up your calves using an isometric stretch on a leg press – holding each stretch at the lowest position for a minimum of 20 seconds and changing the position of your feet from pointing inwards, neutral and outwards.

2. Elevate Your Heels

By elevating your heels on a platform, you shorten the calf muscles and push the knees forward. This allows your body to be kept more upright as you move deeper into the squat, and also has the added advantage of making the squat a more quad dominant exercise.

3. Stretch Your Lower Back

A tight lower back can often cause your back to round as you descend into the squat, putting unnecessary stain on the lumbar erectors. Performing supine windmills beforehand can help loosen the back muscles, facilitating a deeper and more effective squat.w to get a better night’s sleep! In the meantime, sleep tight!

4. Widen Your Stance

Place your feet slightly wider than your hips, and turn your feet slightly (10-15 degrees) outwards. This creates a greater degree of movement for the femur (thigh bone), at the hip joint, allowing you to squat past a ‘parallel thigh’ position. Anatomically, this position tends to be more ‘natural’ and further activates the strong gluteal muscles, enabling you to lift a heavier load with increased stability.

5. Squat With Chains

Using training aids like chains are useful not only in overloading the squat at the top, but also assisting in deepening the range of movement at the bottom of the exercise.

Squatting Arse To Grass– Why Should We Do It?

SQUATTING ARSE TO GRASS
– WHY SHOULD WE DO IT?
April 7, 2014
by ASP Admin

All too often we are taught to limit our squatting to just below parallel rather than perform full ‘arse to grass’ squats, because it is a ‘safer alternative’. The main argument being that a full squat places a lot more stress on our knees and ligaments.

While from a static anatomical standpoint, this argument is seemingly true, our body actually behaves different in a dynamic movement under load. For example, supporting structures like cartilage and ligaments work to dissipate the intensification of stress on joints. On sensing the increased load, stretch receptor cells in the joint alert the brain to increase the muscular and ligamentous stability in and around the joint capsule, thus preventing injury.

There are circumstances a full squat would not be initially advised, such as for individuals with disintegrated or damaged knee cartilage, post knee operation patients, or individuals with disc bulges or spinal issues. In the majority of clients with knee issues though, it is ironically their years of half squatting, poor technique and the lack of full squatting that forms the root of their problem.

The Benefits

So, if a full Range Of Motion (ROM) squat is not bad for us, what exactly are the advantages of performing such an exercise?

  • Recent research has shown that full ROM squats help to strengthen the ligaments around the knees, and maintain the capsule integrity.
  • Squatting through a full range of motion helps to minimise imbalances of the quadriceps muscles by forcing the muscles to work through the lower half of its movement capacity, as well as reduce imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • It encourages optimal muscle recruitment and activation over a larger range of motion, leading to better quadriceps development.
  • Deep squatting helps to activate the lower fibers of the Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO), which serve a critical purpose of stabilizing the knee during movements like running and jumping.
  • Full squatting is an instinctive movement pattern of the body, like walking or breathing. For example, perfect squatting techniques are best observed in children, who perform the exercise with ease and without instruction.
  • It can help to eliminate knee pain caused by patella-femoral tracking syndrome which ironically can be caused by muscular imbalances and tight iliotibial band as a result of partial squatting.