Tips For A Better Squat (Part Two)

Written by Connor Brown

Written by Connor Brown

If you haven't read part one yet, please stop! Part one of this blog leads into what you should or could try after working in the first 5 tips on your own. With so many who struggle with squat performance, I wanted to write this as an iteration of a guide to help both beginner lifters and competitive squatters who may be seeking to add to their current personal best. Enjoy the this installment of tips and progressions to get you to the next level. I am looking forward to diving in deeper on this concept to to ensure even more accuracy to developmental squat gains! Backed by science of course...

So here we go!

6. Goblet Squats

Goblet squats can be a great introduction for individuals who have never squatted before. This exercise can easily demonstrate how to properly load your hips throughout the concentric and eccentric phases of the lift. Goblet squats can provide a sense of confidence for a beginner lifter; you can vary the weights to either support proper technique or you can progress with a heavier dumbbell or kettle bell to manipulate the difficulty. Whether the progression is from the perspective of form (feeling more comfortable under a specific load) or increasing weight, both can be something to get excited about!

7. Accessory work

What is accessory work? It's usually the “little lifts” that help the “big lifts”.As previously mentioned, goblet squats could fit the description of being an accessory lift to your squat. They definitely have a big impact on your success. So what does some accessory work to help the squat?  This can usually be a squat variant, an isolation exercise like hamstring curls, or even lower body conditioning you would experience with prowler pushes and sled work. Your accessory work will usually follow after you perform your squat workout. However, it should not be limited to a single squat or lower-body day. When appropriate, feel encouraged to implement lower- body accessory work 2-3 times a week. While doing this, adjust your volume. One day can contain a heavier volume, the other day would have the inverse with less volume or loading.

8. Proper Progression

Once you have really mastered an exercise like the goblet squat, you can begin the progressions of back loading. In order to get most confident in having the bar on your back, initiate lighter weights. I would strongly recommend using just your standard Olympic bar, or even using a lighter barbell or pipe to ensure that mobility is ready to sustain a heavier load. Take the time to master your technique before making the weight on the bar the priority. 

With the numerous squat programs on the net, be sure you know what you're getting yourself into before diving it. Are you prepared for it? Do you know why you are doing the Russian Squat Program? If you are a beginner, keep working on mastering work capacity with solid technique. If you are working on competition prep, or chasing your next PB, consult your coach. Everyone is different and has specific needs when it comes to programming. You'll need to find the program that best fits you.

9. Video Analysis

There can be many distractions when going through your squat. Focusing on depth, counting the weight before you set up to the bar, wondering if you should get a spotter. It can certainly be psychologically taxing as much as it is physically. One of the best things I advise clients to do, especially with online coaching, is to video record their movements. The more angles the better. This was you can focus on the task of performing the exercise, and analyze what needs to get better by watching the video after the set.  If you’re not exactly sure what may still be problematic, advise a coach or training partner for a second opinion and guidance.

10. Hire a Coach

Hiring a coach can help you save a lot of time. If that’s important to you. By doing so, they are able to share their experience and guidance with you. This results in reducing the chance of injury by giving proper guidance for programming and technique. Coaching is very convenient and provides answers to most of the things you may feel uncertain about with training in general.  Also, a coach wants you to succeed. Having someone in your corner will help meet you with the goals you need and want. It becomes mutual goals.



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