Squat Prep: Is it Mobility, Motor Control, or maybe both?

Who struggles going past parallel in a squat? Here are some tips and techniques to help you achieve a deeper and more efficient position.

Question: Is it Mobility, Motor Control, or maybe both?
The TEST

Perform an unloaded squat. What does it feel and look like? Are you struggling to reach full depth or feeling off balance?
NOW, perform an unloaded squat with some assistance by holding on to a doorway or pole. What does it look like now? Does it feel more controlled or are you going lower?

­If your squat position IMPROVED (achieved full depth in correct alignment) with assistance, then you may have more of a MOTOR CONTROL issue. This means the activation drills towards the end of this video will provide more assistance with improving your squat.

­If you squat position STAYED THE SAME with assistance, then you may have more of a MOBILITY issue. This means the first 5 techniques will need to be targeted before attacking the activation drills. There are several structures that can limit reaching the full depth squat so it’s key to determine what are the primary factors.
*It’s important to note that if you have a true mobility issue then conquering the mobility first is going to be crucial for improving your movement in the future.

5 Exercises to Get Past Parallel: no equipment required!

  1. Tibial Internal Rotation

    ­1­2 minutes in stretch driving heels out

  2. Ankle Dorsiflexion

    ­in 1⁄2 kneeling, shifting knee over 2nd toe and out to side
    ­20 reps in each direction holding for 3­5 seconds at the end of range ­OR 1­2 minutes in each position

  3. Hip External Rotation

    ­20 reps in each direction holding for 3­5 seconds at the end of range

    ­OR 1­2 minutes in each position

  4. Hip Abduction

    ­20 reps, holding at bottom position for 3­5 seconds

  5. Squat cycling

    ­20 reps

2 Ways to Activate the Hips

  1. Hip Flexion & Abduction

    ­20 reps total

  2. Squatting with Feedback

    ­using 2 boxes, random object and a wall, or small band
    ­30 reps, holding in bottom position for 2 seconds
    ­FOLLOW this exercise up with 30 squats without a band or feedback