WSBB Blog: Overcoming Common Sticking Points in the Squat
Squatting is one of the most familiar human movements we perform on a regular basis. However, once a loaded barbell is placed onto the shoulders, what was an easy to accomplish movement suddenly presents problems our body must solve. The squat has the ability to expose lower body weakness unlike any other lower body focused exercise can, and for this reason it is extremely valuable.
Using the squat to identify and correct lower body weaknesses not only has a positive effect on your squat, it can have a positive effect on your deadlift as well. Below, we will cover a few easy to apply solutions for common issues lifters experience when squatting a barbell.
Missing in the Hole
If you are taking air in correctly, but still missing from the bottom position of your squat, it is time to move onto attacking common weaknesses. Beltless squats and sumo deadlifts are great exercises to train yourself to not only breathe and brace correctly, but to have the strength to maintain that brace throughout the lift. Anderson style squatting is also a great strategy to employ when trying to increase strength in the lower portion of the squat.
The good morning is the king of all posterior chain exercises, and if you are experiencing issues at the halfway point of your squat and need to add on some lower back, glute, and hip strength you can’t choose a better exercise. Good mornings can be done as either a main or accessory exercise. Using the different specialty bars such as the giant cambered bar and the SSB, work up to top sets of three to five reps when used for max effort. When used as an accessory exercise, we recommend three to five sets of eight to ten reps.
Falling at the Top
Chain squats with the chain properly attached to the barbell with just a few links touching the floor is a great way to purposely make the bar wobble, forcing the lifter to brace harder and reduce the movement of the barbell. Along with getting stronger through the use of accommodating resistance, you can also focus on your abdominal training to increase your ability to brace. By being able to maintain an extremely strong brace, your abdomen muscles are able to overcome the movement of the barbell on your back and maintain control.