No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
Socrates, 469-399 BCE
So I sort of flipped the general vibe of the article from joking (in the title) to a little more serious (in the opening quote), but there is a point. The point is that if you are going to do something (lift, triathlons, marathons, etc.) do it well. You don’t get to come in and only do the things you want to do or the things you are good at (as many of us do, myself included). You MUST MOBILIZE and you must do it WELL!!
Now getting back to the title, which is true, it really is not going to do it itself. Also, no one is interested in a Miley Cyrus pancake booty shaking in front of them, so we must learn to squat, and squat properly (you also don’t want to hurt yourself and look like Quasimodo trying to get down).
First thing is first, we hit the gym with a general warm-up of 3-5 minutes. This general warm-up could be jump rope, rowing, a jog, something to get the whole body active and moving. After we are nice and warm, we can go through the series below to help increase the ROM in our hips, knees, and ankles in order to acquire a better squat pattern.
So the first one we start off with is a deep lunge with a twist:
I usually give these 8-10 reps per side, walking around the gym and twisting both toward and away from the leg out in front. Notice that I am allowing the knee to fall over the toe with my heal still on the ground, which helps to add some ankle mobility into the stretch. I will then take both hands down to the floor and put a little more emphasis on the hip itself (make sure to keep a back flat and really push that chest to the floor). I hold each side for a 2-3 count and move on to the next, repeating the same on the next side.
Next, I do a little squat specific mobilization with an overhead variation:
I picked this one up after seeing Matt Bergeron utilizing this for some Glute issues he was having. A plate is placed on the ground to make sure that your feet stay an appropriate distance apart. Take a strength band and place it around your hips and walk backward to the plate. With your chest as high as possible, squat down as far as you can, allowing the band to help keep you upright. Two variations are shown: One with hands in an overhead position (helping with the OH Squat) and one with the hands in a prayer position (pushing the knees out, allowing a stretch in the hip flexors). I like to get down and hold these for 10-15 seconds a piece, standing up between each variation, doing this 3-5 times.
After that, we go to the floor for some spinal rotation and lower back activation:
I show two variations: One with your hand and the other is with a small strength band. The idea for these is to keep the shoulders on the ground, so if you cannot, go ahead and grab the band to add in to your rotation. Go through the full rotation 3-5 times per side, holding for 10-15 seconds a side, making sure that you back is nice and warm for your lifting session ahead.
This last one I threw in as a “Must do everyday” type position. I hold this for a good amount of time after I am done with my training to try and help increase my ROM in the squat. Notice I am trying to stay as upright as possible on my own, trying to minimize the amount of weight I put on the wall. The length of time you hold it depends on how comfortable it is for you, you never want a stretch to hurt, so if it does make sure to come out of it.
This is a great starting guide to correcting some common issues with mobility around the hip, knee, and ankle. If you have an actual injury, these might help, but will probably not correct that issue, so make sure to come check us out to see if we can help with your specific issue. As always, mobility is a day to day process, so make sure to get a little in everyday, because that is the only way you will see true improvement.
Also, Pure Health is excited to announce that we will be starting a Tuesday/ Thursday strength class from 5:45 p.m-6:45 p.m. This class will include a push/pull style strength exercises and conclude with a 15-20 minute HIIT style circuit. This class is great for intro weightlifters, off season runners/triathlete/cyclist, or general fitness enthusiast. If you are interested, contact us via Facebook , call us at (903) 521-6115, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Next up: Overhead Mobility (OH Squat, Jerk, and Snatch).