How To Squat Lower – A readers question

I got this email in the inbox the other day, and it shows how important a PT or training buddy who knows there stuff really is. Some of the most important lifts can seem infinitely technical when you begin to hit your max weights but I have posted the conversation below (without names) as it may be of help to another reader who wants to know how to squat lower:

Hey Jake
I was wondering if you know any exercises or drills to help me get lower in my squat. I can get to parallel but any further and I start to get that “bum wink” compromising my spinal position. Im trying to enhance my Snatch but until I can get that low Squat and good technique I don’t want to push myself.

Hi (removed),

Without assessing your squat it’s hard to say.

Few pointers though:

-Assess your restriction/limitation. Ie is it ankle/hip/thoracic mobility issue or is it a core stability issue. Because if it is a core issue and you hammer mobility you are just barking up the wrong tree.

Simple assessment
1. Film yourself doing a bodyweight squat and an OH squat. Where do you lose neutral?
2. Raise your heels on small weight plates, and squat again. Do you get lower? Lower to where you want?
3. If not hold a 5kg plate in front of you at arms length and squat. Film it. Lower now?

If you achieved better range with heels elevated it could be ankle Dorsi range/ankle mobility.

If the plate improved squat, it could be anterior core/stiffness/breathing issue.

Assess first I’d say.

Cheers,
Jake Archer

P.S

Other thoughts include…It could also be wrong stance/foot position for your hip structure or a hips structure that doesn’t allow for deep squatting. It could be adductor problems. It could be femoral acetabular impingement you really need to film it to investigate, sorry no magic bullets for this one. I have added a video below that is a pretty good guide to proper form squatting. Ensure your form is perfect first before considering mobility issues.

 

 

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