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Squat Form and Modifications

Squat form and modifications are an essential part of any exercise program. The squat is one of the most effective and functional exercises for developing leg strength, power, and flexibility. To perform the squat correctly, there are several form adjustments and modifications that can challenge every muscle group of the lower body and allow for exercise progressions. Proper squat form starts from the feet and works its way up to the torso and head. Common modifications to ensure good form include widening and angling the feet, widening

Transcript

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This is Brent, president of B2c Fitness talking
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about a squat, good squat form, and then how
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to regress a squat for somebody with lower leg dysfunction or an excessive forward lean.
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I'm going to have Vinny go ahead and help us demonstrate here.
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First thing I'm going to have Vinny do is, show us what form is supposed to look like
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from the front, or a sagittal plane view of the squat.
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First thing we need to do is align or lower body joints.
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So we want hip, knees and feet in a straight line, that is feet should be hip to shoulder
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width apart and parallel to each other.
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Either first toe or second toe parallel to each other.
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As you can see Vinny is comfortable with his second toes parallel to each other.
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His feet are right between hip and shoulder width apart.
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Vinny go ahead and descend down.
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Good and as you can see when he descends down into a squat, from a sagittal plane view everything
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lines up very nicely.
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His hips, knees and feet are all tracking right over each other.
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So, next thing we're going to do is show a frontal plane view.
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Now here we have a little discrepancy in form.
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We have a torso with an excessive forward lean.
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That is, his tibia and torso should be parallel to each other so that we can ensure that his
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hips, knees and ankles are taking their fair share of the force.
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That is his calves, quads, and glutes are taking their share of the force.
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We're a little too collapsed.
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If you imagine here's his tibia angle, here's his torso angle, those lines should not intersect
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each other.
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Now this is very common, once again, in people with lumbo-pelvic hip complex dysfunction
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and, or lower leg dysfunction.
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We can make an adjustment to his squat so that he can continue resistance train using
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a squat.
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By just doing our ball wall squat regression.
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So what a ball allows us to do is move our feet out a little bit.
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It takes some of the stretch off our ankle, that is we don't need quite as much dorsiflexion.
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It also forces us to lean back a little bit, so that excessive forward lean is then corrected.
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What I'm going to have Vinny do is not necessarily push back into the ball, but just use the
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ball for assistance.
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And then sit back into a squat just as he normally would.
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He's then going to use his glutes to drive his hips forward as he comes up.
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Now this looks pretty good.
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If Vinny had been working on his corrective exercise strategy, we noticed he had progressed,
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we might try to create an intermediary step between this and a normal squat.
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And that's simply the ball out in front squat.
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So now we're giving him a little bit of a counter balance.
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Unfortunately, at this point in time, Vinny goes right back to that excessive forward
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lean.
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So we know where Vinny should be at for now.
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We're going to go right back to that ball wall squat.
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His form looks good there, we'll make sure in his warm up we'll continue trying to correct
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this dysfunction.
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This doesn't mean we can't progress this exercise however.
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Once Vinny is doing this squat well, we can go ahead and add dumbbells.
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And if we're doing strength training this can be heavier dumbbells keeping our reps
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under 12.
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If we're doing endurance training we can use slightly lighter dumbbells and keep our reps
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between 12 and 20.
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As Vinny improves his flexibility, we can progress him back through.
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So ball wall squat, to a ball out front squat, to a regular squat.
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We can start adding weight to that squat, back squats, front squats.
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And then as his mobility and stability further improves we can move on to step ups and lunges.