Ok, so this is going to be a little different from my recent articles on regression and progression. Rather than talk about training other people I’m going to look at training my most difficult client – myself!
The reason I am my most difficult client is because it is very difficult to get an objective assessment of my own performance (although Kinesio-Capture has really helped with that). The other sticking point is that I cannot apply any of my ‘hands-on’ techniques that I usually like to use with clients. As some of these techniques are ridiculously effective I have probably leaned a bit too heavily upon them and lost my way a little in how to improve technique and form using just exercise and good function. So, going back to basics with this one I went to the cornerstone of any good workout…the squat.
According to some of the big hitters in the industry the squat is the most important exercise you can do. My own belief is that it really isn’t (and that’s another article in itself), which is why I have generally neglected this exercise and hence why my technique is rubbish. In brief, my reason for believing that the squat isn’t as important as some might claim is that in almost all sports except Olympic lifting you will rarely find yourself in a bilateral position. Lunges are much more common which is why, up until now most of my videos and personal workouts have incorporated a lunge of some sort.
So why now? Why I have I suddenly done a U-turn and come back to the squat?
1. First of all, football season is pretty much over so I can take this opportunity to train something different for a while.
2. Secondly, very recently I was at an amazing fitness convention put on by Faster Global, and I was truly captivated by one of the presenters, Kelvin Giles. (I was blown away by all the presenters but this is the first idea that came up for a article, and if you ever get a chance to hear Kelvin present then it is an opportunity not to be missed). So, Kelvin said that before we can work on being efficient on one leg we need to be efficient on two….this is such a simple and powerful concept, and is really applicable to any field and court sport, but it’s also a concept I have just glossed over in the past, and I have now decided to correct myself.
3. Finally, I have rubbish squatting technique and I think massive improvements can be made (just see the video below for proof!)
Video of My Squat on Day 1
In this video I highlight some of the subtle movements that indicate where my squat is going wrong. Knowing what to look for is a skill that comes from experience and understanding human movement – entire books have been written on the subject and in one article I’m never going to get anywhere with that. This article is instead more about what I have seen in my squat and how it can be corrected using simple and effective corrective exercises and techniques.
Ok, now to talk about my technique in this video.
My first attempt as you can see is poor at best, and, believe it or not, this is better than it used to be (I just don’t have the video evidence to demonstrate just how poor it was)!
For me the video highlighted an imbalance in my hips and back. If I’m struggling bilaterally then I will also be struggling unilaterally but my body has been very good at hiding this thus far and this is probably one of the reasons why I experience back pain from time to time during my training. Essentially, I have a ‘corrected imbalance’ that I never noticed before because I had found ways of compensating for it in my movement patterns.
You may or may not be a massive fan of the squat, but I hope it’s clear from this video that it can definitely have a significant role to play in movement assessment (and now within my own training sessions). So over the coming weeks I’m now going to train my squat and attempt to address the imbalance I’ve seen, and hopefully come out with some impressive workouts off the back of this revelation.
Please get in touch if you have any questions as to what I have done here or if you disagree completely with what I am saying. These are only my opinions on the squat and would love to hear from some other perspectives.