The squat has often been referred to as the “King” of movements in the weight room. To master the King you must, like most things, learn to crawl before you can walk, and then run. In the video below we go through several of the squat progressions that we feel are highly beneficial when you are teaching pre-teen, teenagers, boys or girls, basically anyone the “How To’s” when it comes to squatting.
There are many benefits when it comes to squatting. It is a highly functional movement pattern, one that we use with great frequency in several aspects of our daily lives. As we move into the athletic arena the squat is a movement that can highly beneficial.
Increased muscle strength and growth
It will substantially increase total body strength, including core, low back, glutes, and hamstrings. Muscle growth can also occur, but fear not ladies, for you squatting can give you a leaner athletic outcome.
Improved sprinting speed and agility
Increased sprinting/agility speed benefits athletes of virtually any sport to a certain extent, and consistent squatting is one of the best ways to help you achieve improvement in this area.
Increased vertical jump
Squats build significant hip extension strength, which allows you to explode off of the ground more powerfully and improve your vertical leap.
Not only do squats improve your ability to produce power, but they also improve your ability to absorb it. This means that you’ll be able to jump higher and you’ll decrease your chances of injury.
Increases mobility and flexibility
Full range of motion squats not only add muscle onto your entire lower body, but they also improve overall flexibility and mobility, as an added bonus, by increasing the range of motion of your ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
This improvement in flexibility and mobility will carry over to many other exercises and regular day to day activities, which further reduces your chances injury and improves overall performance.
This component of squatting can be overlooked, that is if you have never squatted! If you have, you realize very quickly that to perform this movement consistently takes or will develop a significant level of mental toughness. It is often called the movement you love to hate! It simply breeds a toughness you have a hard time finding elsewhere.
Debunking Squat Myths
Look at the calendar and it will read 2018, but in the squatting world there are still some myths that have persisted through the ages. Here are a few that need to finally be debunked and put to rest.
- Squats are bad for the knees. MYTH.
- Not only are squats not bad for the knees, every legitimate research study on this subject has shown that squats improve knee stability and therefore help reduce the risk of injuries. This, of course, is if they are done with proper technique.
- Squats are bad for my back. MYTH.
- In fact as long as the squat is performed correctly, it will help strengthen the mid-section, core and posterior chain as effectively as any other movement.
Squatting is a movement that should have a role in nearly every strength program you design. Knowing how to teach the movement it paramount, but once you have accomplished this then you will be ready to tame the King of the weight room.
The 2009 Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year, Jeff is in his 16th year at Winona State University as Strength and Conditioning/ Director of Fitness. He is responsible for 10 Division II teams. Previously he was the head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports at Iowa State University, an assistant at the University of Memphis, and an assistant at the US Olympic training center in Colorado. Reinardy was part of two men’s basketball national championships in three appearances, numerous conference championships, and several individual national champions at both the Division I and II levels. He also holds club coach and sports performance certifications through USA Weightlifting, and is the former ADFPA American Squat record holder in the 148 weight class and four Minnesota state ADFPA championships.