All sport requires frequent use of a Sport Ready Position, a position from which an athlete can move quickly and efficiently in any direction. Squat mechanics is one of the pillars of the 43°22 Performance Training system and is essential for achieving a powerful Sport Ready Position.
Some of the common overuse injuries athletes experience can be traced back to poor squat mechanics.
- Initiating a squat with knee flexion: the quadricep muscles are overloaded and inhibit gluteal muscle activation. The gluteal muscles are major leg extensors. Any movement that requires pushing from the legs should be predominantly performed by the gluteals. If an athlete’s squat mechanics are shutting their gluteal muscles off, they can’t move efficiently, much less with speed or power. Also, if the quadriceps muscles are continuously overloaded, the athlete is at risk for knee pain and injury.
- Initiating a squat with lumbar spine extension. Excessive lower back extension causes compression of the posterior and lateral aspects of the spinal segments. With enough pressure, the discs can bulge, putting pressure on surrounding nervous tissue. This causes pain and loss of mobility, and can lead to much more serious injury.
- Squatting with excessively deep knee flexion. In some training programs athletes are encouraged to squat well below 90 degrees of knee flexion. Most people do not have adequate hip mobility to perform such a low squat and will compensate by allowing their knees to splay open or collapse inward. This puts pressure on the sides of the knees and compromises stability.
- Squatting with excessive anterior pelvic tilt. This puts stress on the hips, low back and knees. Even when performed with adequate mobility, this type of squat only allows for vertical movement. All other ranges require an inefficient adjustment in body position.
At RVH and The Base we believe the ideal squat starts with bracing through the core and latissimus dorsi muscles, followed by a forward hinge at the hip joint. The hips continue to glide posteriorly, eventually leading to knee flexion. The spine remains neutral and the torso upright throughout. The knees are never overloaded by forward translation at the joint. Performed properly, the knees and hips will reach full flexion at the same time. This position allows an athlete to move with power and ease in any direction without an adjustment in body position.
At RVH and The Base, we use our integrated approach to build strong, powerful athletes who are less likely to become injured in the first place, and keep our injured athletes active in their sport while helping them recover. Call us today at 780.430.9224 to book your 43°22 Performance Assessment
At The Base, We Build Athletes