We are really talking about squatter’s rights (and responsibilities). The squat is one of our major movement patterns. It’s a functional tool, a position, a test, and an exercise.
Squatting is how we get up and down in many circumstances. It is our most anti-gravity motion. Historically, squatting has been our most popular rest and work position (until recent times and the advent of the chair). In the physical therapy and physical performance world we often use the squat as a test of mobility. And of course it is a mainstay in most exercise and training programs.
In the most recent episode of The Lifetime Athlete Podcast, PK & I dove into “All About the Squat.” We had a great discussion about the mechanics of squatting, ways in which you can increase the comfort and efficiency of your squat, and tips/techniques for training. It’s definitely a worthy listen if you’ve been wondering how to be a better squatter.
I’m not saying the squat does everything for us, but in the right context it is an essential part of our training, competing, and living repertoire. With regard to the squat, I generally have two major goals for every client (and reader/listener/viewer):
- Ensure that you have reasonably good squat mobility and function so that you can safely and functionally utilize squatting motions and full squat positions in a pain-free manner.
- Find a squat variation or technique that works for your unique body in which you can safely apply load to your squat for the purpose of effective training.
The objective is not turn you into a powerlifter (unless that is your jam) but make sure you don’t lose, and can use (optimally) your squat. Honestly, there are very few accomplished athletes who can’t tune up their squatting mechanics a bit, and this can have positive impacts on performance and injury prevention. And there a lot of folks who can’t and don’t squat anymore, have lost this capacity, and who can safely restore it.
Good squatting takes knowledge and application and that requires skilled coaching. We just went over the basics of squatting in our online training group, the Training Tribe. T2 participants get weekly MasterClasses in all sorts of great movement and performance training topics as part of their membership. And I often employ squat education as part of my 1-on-1 personalized coaching. This builds better, more well-rounded athletic athletes. Beasts that are durable and versatile. Lifetime Athletes who are Hard to Kill — on the playing field — and in the game of LIFE!