When it comes to heavy lifting, shape is everything. In a recent YouTube video, Kelly Starrett, physical therapist and founder of The Ready State, broke down the key principles of strong posture when performing a squat. Drawing on popular powerlifter techniques as well as his own experience as a mobility coach, he emphasized the importance of having the most exercise options.
“One way to get the system to manage an upright torso and verticalize the shin is to sit back a little, loosen the femur, and position it wide,” he explained. “That way you can keep a nice vertical torso and stand in a fairly wide stance.”
The problem that can arise with a wide squat position is that it can affect your ability to squat deeper. And while there is no need to squat at the depth all the time, there are times when you will want the full squat depth. “As soon as you bring in your posture, you suddenly have access to that position,” he said.
“You have open movement options, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t crouch far or pull far or swing far, but if you look at a single selection that allows you to stay stable all the way down, chances are good This will look tighter than a traditional powerlifting pose, “he continued. “It has better broadcast and gives you full access.”
According to Starrett, the width of your pelvis can also be a factor in determining what your best squat posture looks like at the bottom of the movement. “Narrow pelvis, you will see a lot more knees, a lot wider pelvis, you will see something straighter,” he said.
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Ultimately, Starrett advises looking at what happens to your ankle and foot positioning. Your knees should never crouch and your heels should never leave the floor. If any of these things happen, you need to reassess your crouched posture.
Understand this too: You won’t always be using the maximum squat depth in your workout. But you should know the posture that will help you reach full squat depth, Starrett says, even if you only use it when you are not loaded. “That’s the squat we teach athletics,” he said. “There’s no idea who can squat the most weight to a certain depth. We’re looking at how we do the full range of motion.”
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