How to Squat (really)

The squat is one of the most fundamental movements in crossfit, and not just there. You were already squatting as a kid, but most of us simply stop doing most of the natural body movements as soon as we hit adulthood. Even if your squat now looks like you're half-way down into sitting on a chair, you can be pretty sure you were doing the perfect squat as a 3 year old, sticking your hands in the mud or playing with toys:

So what happened? For most of us with a half squat, sitting happened. But even the best athletes can have this problem too. It's simple; if you don't activate muscles, they become tight and short. In this case, the hip flexors are usually the problem:

Key is to push your knees OUTward on the way down, and that your heels are at about shoulder-width. This causes your hips to open up, so you can make a proper full squat. Remember these simple steps: (if it sounds dirty, you'll probably remember it better)

F: Feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward
A: Move your Ass backwards, while your legs are still straight.
K: As you go down, press your Knees outwards, almost as if you want to tear the floor apart.

All the weight should be on your heels the whole time, you should be able to even lift your toes up!
Let your hips drop slight below the knee, while still pressing your knees outwards. Usually, this is the point where things go wrong again, people lose the focus on the knees while going up. This causes the knees to point inwards, causing massive strain on the knee-joints.

Press up, squeezing your glutes and press up from the heels!

For more information, check the Starting Strength videos here, and a Stronglifts article here.

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