By Coach PK Mills
You’ve probably heard this before and if you haven’t, it’s worth repeating: the squat is one of the most important exercises you can do. The list of benefits to regular squatting is almost too long to list, but some of the most important are:
- Increased lower body strength
- Greater muscle growth in your quads and glutes development (i.e., better legs and butt)
- Greater resistance to injury
- Bigger vertical jump
- Faster sprint times
Most of you reading this are interested in getting stronger and looking better while getting stronger. To help you out, we’ve compiled a quick list of a few of our favorite keys to build a seriously strong squat. Add these to your routine and then get back under the bar and start moving some iron!
Make Front Squats a Staple:
Back squats are awesome, but if you find that your numbers have been stuck in a plateau for a while, front squats will do the trick. They force the quads to work extremely hard and help to build that all-important strength in the bottom position, aka the hole.
Too many athletes neglect the importance of single-leg training. It’s common to have a strength imbalance between your right and left side. Train single-leg movements (step ups, split squats, lunges), correct your imbalances, and watch your numbers go up.
Become a Supple Leopard:
Athletes are notorious for avoiding flexibility and mobility work (including myself I admit). Bad move. not only are you increasing your risk of injury, you are also limiting your performance, especially your strength. With respect to the squat, mobility is key to get into optimal position. Tight hip flexors, glutes, and calves can put a roadblock in the way of your progress. Make mobility and flexibility work part of your warm-up (you are warming up, aren’t you??) and cool-down every time you enter the gym. Your body will thank you.