1. Pre-Workout Rolling Out
Take a few moments pre-workout with a lacrosse ball to roll out the feet, calves, and chest. (Trigger point photos see bottom of page). We want to make sure the chest is also mobilized as many of us sit for long periods of time and/ or are performing activities that bring us forward. While squatting its important to be able to stabilize using our back, glute and core muscles to hold us up and provide a stable base to help us perform the movement. If these muscles are properly engaged they help us to increase the amount we are able to lift safely, thus allowing for more muscular development. Using a foam roller, roll out the glutes and hamstrings. This will help to increase mobility through the ankles and hips to give you more range of motion.
2. Dynamic Stretching Pre-Workout
Secondly, make sure you do some sort of dynamic stretching pre-workout. This can include a small circuit with exercises such as glute bridges to help the mind-muscle connection to the glutes & to stretch the hip flexors, calf raises/ stretching to help increase ankle mobility, hip-opening walking lunges to stretch the hip flexors and get the muscles moving & hip joints opened up. 2 round 15 reps each.
3. Exercises to Mobilize, Stabilize, Strengthen
The squat tells us a lot about the body as it is a compound movement. It allows us to see what is happening with joints, muscles, fascia, and so forth. There are a few common issues with squats that can come about. We are going to go through the butt wink and what to do when your knees cave in during a squat and discuss ways to overcome and improve the squat movement via mobility and stability exercises.
3.1 Butt Wink
The butt wink is a common problem where at the bottom of the squat the pelvis tucks under in an effort to decrease the distance between the insertion and origin point of the muscles in the hamstrings. This can be caused by a variety of issues but the most common are: 1. Tight Hamstrings 2. Improper squat stance.
- Tight Hamstrings, sometimes it is a simple as stretching your hamstrings and calves to increase mobility and ankle mobility through the movement. Some foam rolling and stretching will get you back in no time.
- Improper squat stance, everyone has a different stance in which they feel most comfortable squatting. This has to do with the way our hips are designed, everyone is slightly different. This is why squatting shoulder-width apart with your feet facing forward may not work with everyone. A great way to find your stance, start with feet shoulder-width apart and jump up and down 3x, your body will find its natural comfortable spot, from here play around with foot positioning and width and try squatting in a few different positions. See which one feels the most comfortable, see which ones allow for the pelvis to wink.
3.2 Knees Caving In
- When the knees are caving in during a squat this can be due to the glute medius essentially slacking off! We need this muscle to do its part by keeping the knees aligned with the toes. Normally this is a habit that has to be practiced by constantly focusing on pulling the knees outward and keeping them aligned, ideally, with the 2nd toe. A resistance band can be extremely helpful in assisting with this process.
- Along with constant focus, we also want to make sure we are incorporating exercises that assist with strengthening the glute medius. These exercises include banded lateral walks, glute bridges, fire hydrants, side-lying leg raises, essentially any movement that helps with hip abduction, hip external and internal rotation
Trigger Point For Calves Feet & Chest