So as promised here is the video of my squat technique, with a bit of a breakdown below :
The technique in the video will be by no means perfect, for instance I could relax the shoulders a bit more (think I was keeping the arms out of the way of the couch) and I have a slight tilt of the head to my left, which is something that was picked up at uni. However the main points are there, we are all different so variations are going to occur.
Important points for squat technique for me are:
- Set up – feet comfortable distance apart (this is not a wide stances Sumo squat), feet slightly angled out, stand tall. Engage the glutes prior to starting the movement.
- Push back with the hamstrings and the glutes. Just sitting back with the glutes alone seems encourages a forward tilt of the pelvis and increase extension in the lumber spine.
- Don’t rush, work on quality of movement over just getting the reps done.
- At the bottom of the range aim for parallel line between your shins and torso (lots of people through my clinic lean or slump too much in the lower back).
- On standing drive up with the whole leg rather than just the knees, make sure you engage the glutes too.
So thats my tips on squats, let me know what you think, weighted squats are different to bodyweight squats and if you’re new to these then I advise you get some proper advice.
This post relates to the 30 Day Challenges that keep popping up in my Facebook feed, for example 30 Day Squat Challenge, 30 Day Press-up Challenge, Plank, Squat thrust etc. etc. Its not the 30 days I have a problem with or the challenge part it’s doing just one exercise for 30 days (and yes I am aware that there are challenges involving multiple exercises), why would you want to do this? Is it for the mental challenge and fighting the boredom of the same exercise day in, day out for 30 days? Add some variation, I am bored at the thought of planking for 5 minutes! As a test of muscular strength-endurance, 2 minutes would demonstrate this. It is important to note that gyms are not for everyone, so finding time and a suitable form of exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I would question how healthy it is to do just one exercise for 30 days.
However my main issue is the lack of instruction that comes with the challenges, quite often just a list of “Day + Reps”. Again, I am aware that those responsible for the photo may provide some instructional information on how to complete the exercises, but this is not evident when the image crops up on Facebook. In my opinion the high volume of reps, a desire to complete that days challenge and the boredom factor would encourage participants to “go through the motions” and lead to poor form. So, starting with the squat, I am going to post some instructional information on some of the exercises included in these challenges. Whilst I do have concerns over these types of challenges it is great to see more people taking an interest in exercise and that’s where social networks like Facebook can be really valuable. Taking exercise has so many health benefits and so the positive from the challenges has to be more people thinking and talking about their health. But I really want to ensure everyone exercises safely and to get the right results.
Just to mention again it is not the 30 Day Challenges that I have a problem with, I am currently in the middle of one myself (http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/30daychallenge/welcome-to-the-challenge/). However, this challenge is aimed at strength training for runners, multiple exercises are used and expert instruction is provided.
I would love to get your feedback on these challenges – has anyone completed them? Has anyone been injured through doing the same exercise over and over? What benefits did you get from it?
Thanks for reading.