The squat is one of the most beneficial lower body exercises you can do as part of your exercise program. It challenges the mobility of the hips, knees and ankles whilst also working the quadriceps, hamstring and gluteal muscles, some of the biggest muscle groups in the body!

However, some people will struggle to achieve the correct technique due to restrictions in mobility in some of the above areas. So we’ve come up with our top five mobility exercises to improve your squat position so that you can squat with better technique and get better results for your efforts!

Hip Flexor Lunge

Developing better flexibility around your hip flexors will reduce any pinching around your hips and reduce any strain on your lower back that may occur during the squat.

To perform the hip flexor lunge:

  1. Get into a half kneeling position, with your hands on top of your head.
  2. Shift your weight forwards onto your front foot, and feeling a stretch build through the trailing hip.
  3. Hold this stretch for up to 60 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.
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Weighted Ankle Mobilisation

Feel like you’re forever falling backwards when you squat? Maybe give this one a try! Adding additional weight to this calf stretch will improve your ankle mobility, allowing you to maintain a better position towards the bottom of the squat.

To perform this ankle mobilisation:

  1. Get into a half kneeling position, and place a heavy dumbbell on the front knee.
  2. Keeping your heel on the floor, shift your knee forwards over your toes and hold this position.
  3. Rock back and forth over a 60 second period, and then repeat on the other foot.
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Four-Point Adductor Stretch

If you struggle with your hip mobility or your knees keep collapsing during a squat. You possibly have tight adductors (more commonly known as the groin). This stretch allows you to take the weight on and off the leg to give you full control of the intensity of the stretch.

To perform this stretch:

  1. Get into an all fours position, and straighten one leg out at 90 degrees.
  2. Slowly sit back into your hips until you feel a strong stretch into your groin.
  3. Hold this position for up to 60 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg.
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Thoracic Clams

A common technique error during the squat is being unable to maintain a good neutral spine throughout the range of motion; therefore, if you feel your chest falls forwards during a squat, it is highly likely that this upper back mobilisation could be perfect for you!

To perform the thoracic clams:

  1. Lay on one side, hands out in front of you.
  2. Keep knees together, and rotate the top hand up and over so that you rotate through the breastbone.
  3. Repeat this movement for one minute, then repeat on the opposite side.
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Squats!

This is the most underrated mobility exercise for improving your squats… are squats themselves. Like any exercise, the more it is practised, the body will adapt and gradually enhance its position. A perfect warm-up before squats is to perform a “Prisoner Squat”. This places emphasis on keeping the chest tall whilst sinking the hips slightly below the knees.

To perform an excellent prisoner squat:

  1. Place feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on top of your head, and pull your elbows wide.
  2. Keeping the chest as tall as you can sink into the squat position driving the knees out over the toes.
  3. Hold briefly, and then push through the heels back into the standing position.
  4. Repeat for 10-15 reps aiming to sink deeper on each rep.
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If you are reading this and feel like you need to make better progress with your squats, contact us today to see how we can help you at Namix Performance. We are able to help you both remotely and in person!