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Foundational Movement - Squat

 
Rationale

The squat has been called the king of lower-body strength exercises because of the ability to develop the quads, glutes, hamstrings and the core.  The squat can be considered a combination of a vertical moving plank, an initial hinge at the hips, then moving into high levels of hip and knee flexion.

Squatting is maximal hip flexion / extension combined with maximal knee flexion and optimal ankle dorsiflexion/plantarflexion.

Best practice

  1. Alignment

  2. Glutes activation: Touch the chair

  3. Knees moving inward v spread the knees: Squat between knees

Standard

The standards for the squat are starting from full hip extension with an active plank, tall spine throughout the movement, feet rooted into the ground, descend to a depth where the crease of the hips are at or below the top of the knees, hips open at the bottom (no valgus collapse).  On the return, the hips and shoulders move together.

Stable

Spine

Mobile

Ankles, hips and knees

Poses
Utkatasana.jpg

Utkatasana [Chair]

Adjustment

Fully shortened

Position

SF

Start

  • Place palms into cradles

  • Feet together; big toes to touch / Feet hip-width apart

Movement

  • Bend knees; drop hips down and back

  • Weight evenly distributed across both feet

  • Arms sweep up; palms rotate to face anchor point; full tension in straps

Return

Keep tension on straps; lower arms and return to standing

Eka Pada Utkatasana.jpg

Eka Pada Utkatasana [One-legged hair]

Adjustment

Fully shortened

Position

SF

Start

  • Place palms into cradles

  • Feet together; big toes to touch / Feet hip-width apart

Movement

  • Lift one leg up to parallel with floor; knee at 90 degrees

  • Slightly bend the standing leg

  • Hinge at the hips; extending lifted leg back until parallel with the floor, maintaining tension in both legs

Return

  • Drive working leg into the floor; squeezing glutes to return floating leg back to start position

  • Stand up tall; core still active

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