Recreational athletes, take your fitness to the next level with back squats! These dynamic exercises boost leg strength and power for improved sports performance. But that’s not all! Back squats also strengthen joints, muscles, and bones, ensuring agility and better flexibility in your ankles, knees, and hips. Sculpt your lower body muscles for stability and aesthetics. Adding back squats will empower you to reach your fitness goals and become a stronger athlete. Let’s get squatting and unlock your full potential!
Be sure to perform back squats correctly.
One of the most common mistakes and misconceptions in the weight room amongst recreational athletes is improper trunk and pelvic position during a back squat. You made hear a wide range and even contradictory advice, and even more variation in form. So, what is the right position in a back squat?
Proper trunk and pelvic position while performing a back squat:
Note in the photo above, the weightlifter’s trunk is not overly arched, nor overly rounded, so his pelvis is in a neutral position. This enables the pelvis to properly stack the load over the back while transmitting power from the legs up to the trunk.
When a recreational athlete squats, the weightlifter may exhibit either an overly arched back or an overly rounded back at the bottom position of squat. An overly arched back will be accompanied by an excessive anterior pelvic tilt. An overly rounded back will be accompanied by an excessive posterior pelvic tilt.
There may be many reasons, but here are the major causes of pelvic tilt:
Excessive Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Excessive Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Note that loss of trunk and pelvic control is the main culprit for both types of excessive pelvic tilt. Therefore, many recreational athletes with excessive pelvic movement will benefit from improved trunk and pelvic control even if there are other factors at play.
How to improve trunk and pelvic control:
There are many underlying factors that decrease trunk and pelvic control during a squat. However, here are some helpful tips for a recreational athlete to improve their control during a squat.
- Try your best to imagine a stacked posture.
- Prevent the elbows from flaring too far out.
- Before you squat, with your hands, try pushing into your sides under your ribs and above the pelvis. Try to use the feedback to create an outward pressure to create a rigid core. Try to maintain that sensation as you squat.
- Breathe in deeply to expand the ribs and create stability in the upper back.
- As you squat, think about spreading the floor apart while keeping your feet firmly planted as you descend.
- Keep your knees aligned over your toes as you descend.
Despite its seemingly simplistic nature, back squats can be quite complex, especially with heavier weights due to the number of joints involved. However, when performing back squats correctly, they can be effective in improving strength and power.
For more information, about recreational athlete fitness and sport performance PT, talk to a Positive Energy Team member.