Simple Steps To A Perfect Squat

The perfect squat by the health alchemist

   Apes do it, cavemen did it, hell, even women in Japan are doing it! What is this mythical exercise that I speak of? The bodyweight squat of course! Even though it's one of the most functional exercises someone can perform, I often see how tough it is for many to master. 

Ass To The Grass & Strong Legs: 

   Squats are the easiest way to build stronger legs and mobility within the hips. Ass to the grass refers to bringing your body down to a max squat depth. Many people overlook how tough a deep squat can be for fitness goers. Give it a try, stop reading, see how low you can squat, and how long you can hold that position. 

...Like I said, it's not easy. Don't feel bad, most trainers can't even squat to full depth. With that said let's get crackin'! 

Step #1: The tootsies!

   Place your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Place feet parallel from one another. If this is difficult you can point them outward slightly. 

Create torque in the legs to build a stronger squat by Health Alchemist Training

Step #2: 

   Create torque in your knee capsules by screwing your feet into the ground and externally rotating the legs. *Tip: Your knees will slightly rotate outward. 

Pre-squat upright posture. The perfect squat by The Health Alchemist

Step #3: Posture and Pelvis

   Start with a upright posture. Make sure your pelvis is neutral and not posteriorly or anteriorly tilted. *Tip: Imagine your pelvis is a glass of wine. If it's posteriorly tilted the wine will spill out of your back. An anterior tilt will cause the wine to spill from your belly button. 

Step four of the perfect squat by The Health Alchemist

Step #4: Initiate The Squat

   Begin to sit the butt and hamstrings back while simultaneously bending the knees. *Important, keep your knees pushed outward as you squat down!

Step #5: 

   Go down to the depth that is most comfortable to you (everyone's squat will vary due to mobility, hip structure, and joint implications). Be sure to keep your back flat, your gluten (booty), hamstrings, quads, and core engaged througuout the whole movement

Step #6: 

   Drive through the ground upward coming back to the standing (starting) position. Be sure to engage your legs when coming out of the squat.    

BAM! You Just Completed A Rep! 😎🖐️

Common Faults (Mistakes)

Collapsed Ankles - Biggest Squat mistake by Health Alchemist

Fault #1: Collapsed Ankles 

   This can cause a weak base and a cascade of other faults throughout the movement

valgus.jpg

Fault #2: Valgus Fault (Knees Going INward)

   This looses stability in the knee and could cause issues when squatting heavy. Though valgus squats can be used for mobility exercises, in this case we want to avoid it. 

The most common squat fault, leaning over - The perfect squat by John Schaser Health Alchemist

Fault #3: Lean Over Fault 

   This can compromise the flat back portion. It disengages the core, and causes a fake impression of squat depth. 

Head tilt squat fault - the perfect squat by The Health Alchemist

Fault #4: Head Tilt Fault

   Ever hear the saying, wherever the head goes the body follows? This is true in this case. When tilting the head back, you break the "chain" of maintaining a stable core and flat back. This can then lead into what I call the banana back. 🍌

 

That's it! Now you have the knowledge to pave your way to the perfect squat. This exercise is used in many workouts like The Bodyweight Endurance Workout, and other workouts on this site. 

*Disclaimer! Squatting in the fitness world is very controversial. The being said, everyone's squat may look slightly different. Due to mobility, hip structure, or the experience of the individual, each squat won't exactly look like mine. As long as you keep the core concepts down, like keeping knees out, back flat, and all musculature engaged, you'll do just fine. 😉

 

"keep on keepin' on"

-John S.