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Squatting is arguably the most beneficial exercise commonly used or in many cases mis-used!... To understand the benefits and which type of squat you should be doing keep reading!… If you’re looking for one exercise that can give you the biggest bang for your buck then it’s worthwhile being more patient and exploring different squat types to reap the benefits such as

Improved ankle & hip mobility Lower body muscle strength Core & postural strength Bone density, ligaments & tendon strength Explosive power, speed & quickness improvements Reduced chance of injury Improves cardiovascular health Weight loss and/or body fat loss More balanced and improved physique

This list could be extended but the fact is not everyone is built to squat very well, that is achieving depth whilst holding posture with a shin and back angle almost identical… This is often accepted as the ideal textbook squat but in the general population there is so much difference between limb lengths, joint positions, mobility, stability, and core strength this makes squatting much more difficult for many people… Nevertheless, different variations makes squatting possible for most not to mention all the little tweaks and changes a coach could recommend if you have one, therefore regardless of age, fitness level, shape or size you can still benefit…

A good squat requires mobility & motor control so unless you spend time developing these attributes you will unlikely reap the full benefits… The importance most people place on mobility is often very little compared to what is placed on exercise but mobility I believe should be viewed as a necessary training component much like strength and cardio, so we can express our fitness from many positions but also recover and reduce injuries better… We narrow our fitness landscape to a few movements repeated over and over, pushing harder and harder to get an adaptation because we either physically can’t perform the ones outside our landscape due to lack of mobility, motor control or poor core strength… Don’t get me wrong im not suggesting you need to do more challenging movements to be fit and strong, not at all but the more options you have the better for your fitness journey!

The good news is squatting alone can improve mobility, motor control (this is just your muscles working together in unison creating correct movement) and core strength especially if done at a controlled tempo and holding paused positions etc… Its always good to keep things simple as people generally loose interest and consistency with complexity therefore check the infographic below that provides a hierarchy of bi-lateral squat variations that will help guide you towards optimal back squat technique…

These are not mutually exclusive, that is you can perform all these squat variations within a program but how a program looks depend on the individual and the intent which sometimes hiring a coach can help with… However, assuming you’re either new to squatting, returning from injury, or not making progress then try focusing more lower down the pyramid before loading up near the top as this is often the neglected areas and needs far more time training otherwise progress through the top movements will be limited by poor foundations… Try using table below to program your own squat journey....

Hope this helps improve or start your Squat journey!... For any coaching tips or one-one online or in-person help get in touch...

Keep Squatting!


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