5 REASONS YOUR SQUAT SUCKS (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)!

holy grail squat 5 REASONS YOUR SQUAT SUCKS (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)!
A GOOD SQUAT = HOLY GRAIL

A good squat for many is like the holy grail. We go to lengths most normal people would consider crazy in our quest to build a good squat.

I say “normal” when I refer to folks who DON’T spend countless hours each week just thinking about their upcoming squat workout–not to mention the time spent actually doing the workout.

With so much personal investment in just one exercise, when your squat just isn’t improving anymore it can take a real emotional toll.

In effort to help keep you on the emotional even keel, here are 5 Reasons Your Squat Sucks (and how to fix them!)

1. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP (don’t worry I’ll hit the training stuff later)

I know this one may seem a little obvious, but it’s often overlooked as a reason for why your squat sucks!As is often the case the obvious things are so important (hint: that’s why they’re obvious! ;).

I have a 10 week old daughter and in the last few weeks I’d been wondering why my squat has sucked so badly! Of course with my fatigue levels bordering on completely preventing me from training at all, my analytical skills were pretty lousy so it took me a while to figure it out!

Duh! I’ve only been managing to get about 5-6 hours of broken sleep each night. (Having a kid though, is a good reason for your squat to suck!)

A lack of sleep causes a number of things to happen.

(A) Growth Hormone production is reduced. Growth hormone is released in the first 90 minutes of sleep, and if your overall sleep duration is reduced GH output drops as well.

(B) Tissue growth and maintenance occurs during stage 3 and 4 sleep (deep sleep), and hard training demands more deep sleep as the microtrauma needs reparation. However, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your brain will forgo the deep sleep necessary to repair and grow new muscle tissue in favour of resting your mind.

From an evolutionary standpoint it kind of makes sense! It won’t matter how big and strong you are if you’re so tired that you forget to look both ways before crossing the road and you get smoked by MACK truck!

(C) Have you ever actually tried to squat when you’re tired? It just plain sucks! So if you don’t want your squat to suck make sure you get a good 8 hours of muscle building sleep each night!

2. WEAK HIPS, ADDUCTORS & GLUTES

Coming out of the hole requires powerful glutes and hip musculature. For many squatting below parallel seems impossible (by the way, any squat that isn’t below parallel is naturally doomed to have more limited strength increase potential), but it can be learned.

If you’ve never squatted below parallel, some accessory hip and glute training exercises will go a long way towards preparing for the deep squat. Exercises like glute bridges, clams, adductor band work, various side lying abductor and abductor+external rotation exercises, and band X-walking should be introduced into your programming to help prepare your muscles for the strength requirements of full depth squatting.

Don’t try to do them all at once, but add one or two exercises in as part of your warm-up. Do 2 sets of 10-20 reps (or until gentle fatigue) each leg/side/direction Then at the end of your workout you can do a few more sets and really push to get some heavier fatigue. Each workout change up the exercises to make sure you work the muscles from different angles.


LYING GLUTE BRIDGE
(Hard to screw this one up… just make sure you’re concentrating on contracting the glutes to create the movement and not just arching up your back)

 

This next group of exercises is easy to screw up, so I’ve included two videos for each exercise, the first video showing the exercise done incorrectly, and the second one being done correctly. Pay close attention to the movement of my hips in the videos as I use my finger to show the undesired movement and the lack of movement when done correctly.


SIDE LYING CLAM – INCORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note the position of the hip, it moves backwards as the knee is raised)

 


SIDE LYING CLAM – CORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note the position of the hip it does not move backwards as the knee is raised)

 


SIDE LYING BENT LEG ABDUCTION – INCORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note the position of the hip, it moves backwards as the leg is raised)

 


SIDE LYING BENT LEG ABDUCTION – CORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note the position of the hip, it does not move backwards as the leg is raised)

 


SIDE LYING STRAIGHT LEG ABDUCTION – INCORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note the position of the hip, it moves backwards as the leg is raised)

 


SIDE LYING STRAIGHT LEG ABDUCTION – CORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note the position of the hip, it does not move backwards as the leg is raised)

A very common problem with many people’s squat is that of weak adductors. The problem manifests itself as the knees buckle inwards during the ascent. Most people know they should keep their knees out during the squat, so they presume the problem is actually that of weak abductors. Now their abductors may still be weak, and that could be a contributing problem, but normally when the knees buckle inwards, it is because the adductors aren’t strong enough to contribute to the upward movement, and so the knees swing in quickly to better position the quads to do all the work.

So if your knees swing in, some extra adductor work will help remedy the situation. Additionally, sumo deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your adductors for deep squatting.



STANDING ONE LEG BAND ADDUCTION
(Don’t be fooled by how wussy this exercise looks, with a heavy enough band and enough reps you’ll be walking the next day like a first time cowboy! Plus it will make your squat suck less!)

 


BAND X-WALKING – INCORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note that I’m unable to keep my leading leg out, in-line with my body, I’m also really having to lead hard with my upper body to swing my leg out. Finally, not how my trailing leg very quickly pulls in. All bad!)


BAND X-WALKING – CORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note that my leading leg stays tight and in-line with my body, and my trailing leg follows but under complete control)





BAND X-WALKING SIDE VIEW – INCORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note that I’m leaning forward, putting my hips out of line with the rest of my body)



BAND X-WALKING SIDE VIEW – CORRECT TECHNIQUE
(Note that my hips are in-line with my body)

 

 

3. POOR HIP MOBILITY

If you have trouble squatting down into a full depth squat with an empty bar, chances are you have some hip mobility limitations. Getting your hips ready for a deep squat can take some time. Most people don’t stretch nearly enough, and pulling your foot up to your butt for 20 seconds before you start your squats just doesn’t cut it.

The flexibility of the muscles involved is important, but the good motor control of the muscles is the most important thing. All the flexibility in the world won’t help you squat properly if you can’t control your muscles as you move.

The glutes, quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings are the usual suspects for preventing good squat depth. So identifying which muscles limit you is the first step. If you can’t touch your toes, then hamstring flexibility is a good place to start and a good 10-15 minutes of stretching of all your tight muscles at the beginning of your workout will help you increase your squat depth.

 

4. YOUR EGO

If you’ve been squatting for any length of time and in effort to squat big you just keep piling on more weight every workout before your body is ready for it, your squat is gonna just plain suck! What ends up happening is that with each successive weight increase you lose a bit of squat depth.

budgie squat 5 REASONS YOUR SQUAT SUCKS (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)!

Eventually you become a Budgie!

 

WHAT THE HECK IS A BUDGIE YOU ASK?

A Budgie is one of those guys in the gym with skinny legs who piles 2, 3, 4, or even 5 plates a side on the squat bar, steps under the bar, unracks the weight and then barely budges the weight more than a few inches on each rep.

Of course these guys know they’re not full depth squatters and they’ll quickly qualify that they can’t do full depth squats because it hurts their knees and so they just squat down to parallel or just above parallel!

What’s even more funny is when you have a group of Budgie’s all squatting together and encouraging each other, getting all mad at the weights and all doing these little Budgie style squats!

If your squat sucks make sure your ego isn’t part of the problem (or in the Budgie’s case the entire problem).

Here’s what to do. Look around your gym and find a trainer who’s got guys or girls doing full depth squats with reasonable loads and ask them to watch you squat and give you some tips. Most trainers will be happy to do so as long as you don’t take more than a few minutes of their time. If their tips make sense to you, consider hiring them for a session or two to help you work on your technique.

And finally…

5. LACK OF DESIRE

Folks don’t be too hard on yourselves for this one. Unless you’re one of those people that God seems to have built and put on earth entirely to squat massive weights with flawless technique and seemingly little effort just to piss the rest of us off, it will take years of sacrifice and pain on many levels to build a squat that doesn’t suck!

It may be hard to accept for some that they just don’t have what it takes to go the distance, but lack of desire is often a big reason for why your squat sucks. If your dating habits get in the way of your training schedule or interfere with your sleep requirements and you’re not prepared to ditch the relationship in favour of a bigger squat, well then you just don’t want it badly enough. If your job interferes with your eating schedule and you’re not prepared to look for a more suitable job that allows for eating on the job or frequent food breaks, again, you don’t want it badly enough.

In fact nearly every reason that your squat sucks can be fixed. But if its inconvenient in some way, then you lack the desire. Every guy or girl who’s ever built a big squat has sacrificed many things to get there.

And if you really needed any more motivation to fix your squat so it doesn’t suck…

hot girl squat 5 REASONS YOUR SQUAT SUCKS (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)!

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Posted in Awesome lower body strength training, corrective exercise video, flexibility, hip mobility, How to Build Leg Strength, How to Build Muscle, maximum strength by admin | 282 Comments

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