Full Mobility Routine For Those Who Want To Be Proficient At The Squat
This is for the high and low bar squat but is slightly geared more towards high bar squatters.
There is nothing wrong with using equipment in your squat. There are benefits to using lifting shoes and a belt while squatting. Belts help with bracing which then in turn helps with bar position. The shoes help with torso position / how upright you are.
If you do not have these items, then this is all the more relevant for you. These are going to be the top mobility exercises for a better squat. These are the movements that are the most bang for your buck. So if you have issues with ankle mobility or with your hips, this mobility routine will really help you out.
This whole squat mobility routine should take around 15 min from start to finish
Key Area: Ankle Mobility
1: Ankle Stretch
Since lifting shoes are elevated, there is a decrease in ankle dorsiflexion. So to help gain better mobility we want to simulate what we do when we squat, to try and get our knees past our toes. If you go to any depth, probably your knees will go past your toes, but we want to be sure that our knees are tracking OVER the toes.
- Take a stance that is 2 feet apart
- Keep the back leg as straight as possible
- Shift the knee as far forward as you can in a dynamic motion (Forward and Backward)
- 10 Reps / 3 Sets Per Side
You'll feel a slight stretch, and try and move your knee further and further each time you do it. We want to really warm up the ankle joint.
2: Static Stretch with a slight twist
- Bring your foot up against a wall, as high as possible
- Flex the quad and lean into it (flex to get that better calf stretch)
- Hold this position
- 30 Sec Hold / 2 Sets Per Side
Gradually over time you should attempt to lean a bit further in to increase that range of motion.
3: Roll your feet
We find that lacrosse balls work very well, but you can use anything that you can mash the bottom of your feet with.We are doing this to help you really spread the floor and feel the floor when you are squatting.
Key Area: Hip Mobility
1: Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
The hips need to be unlocked, to be opened. If you walk for any length of time or sit for extended period and not doing dynamic sport like activities you probably have tight hips. So first we want focus on opening the hip flexors.
- Get into a hip flexor stretch position (1 knee down, 1 leg up)
- Squeeze the glutes and focus on staying upright (dont lean)
- Raise the knee down arm over your head to feel a greater stretch along your oblique area
- 30 sec hold / 2 sets per side
You just want to do this until you feel it in your hip flexors. Do not exaggerate by leaning to far forward but focus on the glute squeeze and staying upright. The leg that remains up should be at about 90 degrees.
2: Find Tender areas on the outside of the hips
Feel along the outside of your hips below the hip bone, search for any areas that may be tender or tight and we want to hold a kettlebell or a smaller plate there to help reduce tension in that spot. This can help open the hips in the squat so you can squat upright between those legs.
- Locate tight or tender areas on the outside of your hips
- Place a weight on those areas to help release that tension
- Hold for 15-20 sec a spot
3: Glute Bridges
- Feet a little wider than shoulder width apart
- Feet slightly pointed out
- Tilt Pelvis Up
- Squeeze the glutes and hold at the top
- 20 Reps / 2-3 Sets
The glutes are the big bad boys in the squat. We want to be sure we know how to feel them. When initiating the squat we want to start with the core braced and slightly squeeze the glutes to be sure we are even.
Key Area: The Core
- Focus on total body tension (especially legs up)
- 30 - 45 Sec / 2 Sets
Holding the plank can help relieve any potential back tension. Why? If your body believes your back is in a precarious position it tends to lock itself up. This doesn’t mean you are in pain or get injured but just that your body preemptively tightens you back as to prevent that from happening. The plank helps you practice proper bracing.
2: Side Planks
This is about your internal hip rotation, this comes via the obliques. To do this we need to take a side plank position.
- Side plank info
- 30-45 Sec / 2 Sets
For Low Bar Squatters
If you squat low bar you want to add in something for the external rotation of the shoulder. If you can't properly rotate your shoulder, what ends up happening is you arch with your back instead. Which is just a bad position when loading weight on your spine.
- Rotate with the shoulder itself
- Use the pole to get that external rotation
- Hold for 20-30 sec / 2 sets per side
Once you have done all these things the mechanics of the hips relative to the ankle, everything when you squat will feel much better.