Why Deep Squats Are Good for You

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Wall Ankle Mobilization (Multi Planar)

Here, you’ll simply start with your toes 2-3 inches from the wall. From there, gently tap your knee to the wall with each repetition. Of note, if you feel your heel coming off the ground, move your foot closer to the wall. Perform five reps pushing the knee inward, five straight ahead (over the second toe), and five with the knee moving outward, for a total of 15 repetitions (per foot).

Knee-Break Ankle Mobilizations

Standing on two 5-10 lb. plates (toes on the plates, heels on the ground), simply “push” your knees over your toes, without pronating or allowing the knees to collapse into valgus (caving in). For some, you may find a significant restriction, but it’s important not to force range of motion. Use what ROM you have, and just rock back and forth.

Perform 10-15 repetitions.

2) Poor Hip Mobility

One problem is called Hip Internal Rotation Deficit. Counterintuitive as it may seem, having the ability to internally rotate the hip is important.
A significant factor preventing many trainees from successfully hitting proper depth on a squat is that many have the hip mobility of a crowbar. This can mean any number of things ranging from lack of hip internal rotation to short/stiff adductors to short/stiff hip flexors.

One problem is called Hip Internal Rotation Deficit. Counterintuitive as it may seem, having the ability to internally rotate the hip is important. As physical therapist Charlie Weingroff has stated on several occasions “the body needs to know that it can do something before it can prevent it.”

One needs a certain amount of hip internal rotation to go into deep hip flexion. The problem arises, however, when most trainees have a significant hip internal rotation deficit.

A great drill we like to use at Cressey Performance is the knee-to-knee mobilization:

Knee-to-Knee Mobilization

Lie on your back, feet preferably flat, and rock your knees back and forth. A great starting point would be to shoot for 8-10 repetitions per side. For more serious cases, however, I’d be inclined to have them hold the stretch for a bit. That means that instead of mobilizing the knees, the trainee would just hold the stretch by holding the knees together for a specific amount of time – anywhere from one to two minutes (sometimes as high as twenty)!

Often overlooked due to their attachment points, the adductors play a major role in both hip extension and hip flexion.
Another problem is short/stiff adductors. The adductor complex (adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis) is a fairly dense area of muscle that’s a common trouble spot for most trainees.

Often overlooked due to their attachment points, the adductors play a major role in both hip extension and hip flexion. Outside of some aggressive foam rolling or even manual therapy (trust me, NOT fun) in that area, there are a few exercises you can perform that will definitely help.

Split Stance Adductor Mobilizations

Making sure to maintain a neutral spine throughout. It’s important to go into both hip flexion and extension on this exercise. Be sure to not allow the lumbar spine to flex as you sit back!

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