Top Tip For a Better Squat: Stability
G.Jones, W. Zhou, 05/05/2016
Stability is another key factor that may affect your squat. Here are a few exercises for you to work on if you think your squat stability needs improvement:
Pause Squats: This has to be one of the best and most effective way to increase the stability and strength of your raw squat. Simply pause at the bottom position for 3 seconds, before coming back up. Obviously this has to be lighter than your usual squat weight, start with a light weight and work your way up.
Goblet Squats: A pair of strong glutes and lower back muscles provide great stability in the hole of the squat. They also help reduce butt wink, which is another form of power leak in the squat. Hold a dumbbell at front of your chest position. Focus on spreading your knees out and sink in between your legs.
Front Squats: Another reason your squat maybe unstable is due to weak quadriceps. If your quadriceps are weak, you will likely tip forward and have your hips shoot up when trying to push yourself out of the bottom. Front Squats are an excellent painful cure for weak quads. Shoulder, wrist, hips and adductor flexibility are crucial for this movement. If you have flexibility issues, it maybe something to work on before moving to this exercise.
Weighted Planks: If you feel like you always lose tension in your abdominal area when you squat, it may be due to a weak core. Planks need no introduction, 30sec to 1min intervals are good to start with. Needless to say form is important on this one. Regardless how strong your core maybe, for you to fully utilise this in the squat, you will NEED to take a deep breath before every single rep, focus on keeping your core tight (as if someone were to punch you in the stomach), descend, repeat... NEVER hold your breath for more than one rep especially if the weight on your back is reasonably heavy.
Practice: This is last but not the least. Perfect practice makes perfect. If squatting still makes you nervous, then reduce the weight to one you are comfortable with, and practice with higher repetitions. One day this movement will become a walk in the park for you, you’ll then be more confident to add more weights onto the barbell.
So Hakuna Masquata.