Fix Yo Squat – Part 2

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Lauren Fisher getting down on her 165# Hang Snatch.

Lauren Fisher getting down on her 165# Hang Snatch.

A while back I wrote about fixing your squat, and how it’s the basis for all our mobility. Simply put, if your squat is deficient it will compound into all your other movements. After watching the SoCal Regionals this past weekend, the importance of squat mobility is more apparent than ever. Case in point, Lauren Fisher. This 20 year-old phenom has the mobility of a toddler and it allows her to move and lift far beyond what her lithe frame would imply. She hang snatched 165# with ease, something other competitors twice her size weren’t able to do.

So let’s go over my favorite movements for building a better, deeper squat. As I told Sean Lin the other day, every inch counts!

1. Lunge Stretch

Don’t take this stretch for granted. We do it everyday in our warm up for good reason. It loosens up our hamstrings and glutes. Try varying it up by trying to get your elbow into the ground for a deeper stretch and incorporating the groin into the movement. Alternate versions can be done on your back by hugging your knee to the chest  and also on a box by placing one foot on the box and letting your hips drop down.

2. Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip flossing courtesy of Kelly Starrett.

Hip flossing courtesy of Kelly Starrett.

This is probably the most underrated stretch for squat flexibility. It’s straightforward thinking to stretch the posterior chain with lunges and squat holds, but don’t neglect your hip flexors. I see you all doing “Sampson Stretch” and 90% of you have tightness in this area. Similar to the lunge but differing by dropping the back knee down and pulling the torso up and back. The wider the stance with the down knee angled back, the deeper the stretch. For extra resistance you can do this stretch with a band as seen here.

3. Pigeon Pose

This is good to get more of the outside of the glutes. Key to this is to try and keep your hips square to the ground and not to let your body rotate out. Similar to the lunge, you can do this on top of a box for an extra level of downward pull.

External rotation and flexion, all in one! Thank you again, Mr. Starrett.

External rotation and Flexion, all in one! Thank you Mr. Starrett again.

4. Squat Floss

Finally, one of the best stretches for the squat is to actually squat. You can squat all the way down while pulling on the cage for a little more lower back stretch or hold a kettlebell for some more downward pulling power. My favorite is to loop a band around the cage at mid thigh level and then step into the band and basically sit down with it. The band will act to pull your hips closer to your feet for a deeper squat as well as working on ankle flexion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gwgm3s2EQ0

Workout of the Day 6/3/2014 – Tuesday

Athlete

Strength.
Back Squat 4 x 4

Try for heavier than the last 4 x 4 – 5/22/14. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.

Met-Con.
EMOM ?:
5 KB Swings (1.5 pd/1 pd)
5 Burpees
5 Air Squats

Go for as long as possible. When you can’t complete all 15 reps in less than a minute, you’re done. If you fail in less than 5 minutes, rest the next minute and start again trying to go for at least the same number of minutes.

Competitor

Strength.
Back Squat 5RM

Build to and establish a new 5RM. Try for heavier than the last 5RM – 5/22/14.

Met-Con.
EMOM ?:
6 KB Swings (2 pd/1.5 pd)
6 Burpees
6 Alternating Pistols

Go for as long as possible. When you can’t complete all 18 reps in less than a minute, you’re done. If you fail in less than 5 minutes, rest the next minute and start again trying to go for at least the same number of minutes.