The Squat is the ultimate exercise for strength and building a beach body. Rogelio gives you 5 tips which will fix your squat fast and will help build muscle all over as your squat poundages skyrocket!
If you go to the gym and you ain’t squatting, then shame on you. The Squat is a great exercise which serves all purposes, from muscle gain to weight loss to performing better in everyday life. I have covered a variant of this lift, the Front Squat (highly recommended reading), but today I want to focus on how to fix your conventional Squat.
The Squat relies on having a barbell placed on your upper back/nape and squatting down and up with it. Many gym goers do this exercise wrong, primarily because there is a lot of bullcrap floating around from ignorant flashy personal trainers who cannot themselves perform a proper full squat with 200lbs. I love you guys in my Manly Curls way (except those who go around reading blogs and stealing ideas, you bad, bad little girls) so I am going to give you good fellas 5 tips to improve your Squat immediately and improve your fitness, strength and body shape. Read ahead, brothers!
1) Fix my Squat Rogelio: Shrug your upper back
That’s right. Before placing the barbell on your upper back, pull your shoulder blades back and then shrug your traps up. You now have an awesome piece of meat to place the barbell. Many people complain of the barbell hurting their upper back when squatting but that is because they are not accomodating the barbell with their upper traps. By shrugging your upper back not only will you avoid pain but you will also help yourself in keeping vertical when squatting down. Oh, and you will no longer have to use that massive pussy pad on the barbell that screams beta male.
If you shrug your upper back like this you will find you can squat better
2) Fix my Squat Rogelio: Take a big breath in
Before squatting down. Once you have the barbell properly placed on your upper back, take a big breath in, inflating your chest and making sure you stick your chest out. Coach Dan John (a fellow coach whom I admire) recommends to inflate your chest as if you were on the beach and you saw a pack of hot women suntanning looking at you. That does the trick!
3) Fix my Squat Rogelio: Stretch before squatting
Many trainees find that they have problems reaching proper depth in the Squat. One of the key reasons for this is lack of flexibility. Stretch your calves, hamstrings and glutes prior to starting your squats. Then do static holds with the empty barbell in the squat down position. Remain in the squatted position for 10 seconds, squat up, then repeat 5 more times. You are now ready to squat.
Use an empty barbell and do static holds like this in the squat position to stretch the muscles involved in the Squat
4) Fix my Squat Rogelio: Keep your abs tight
When you squat, your abdominal wall is under great stress. In fact, the Squat is an awesome abdominal exercise and it will build terrific static strength in this body area. To improve your Squat, before squatting and when you take your big breath in, push your abs out and tighten them. This mental cue seems more difficult than it looks but try it now. Stand up, take a big breath in, big chest, now push your abs out and tighten them. There, you have now a solid mid-section which can support big weights. You need to do this cue before commencing each and every squat repetition. Keeping your abs tight helps in avoiding what I term the accordion effect where you lose your squatting posture because you lose the tightness in the abdominal wall.
5) Fix my Squat Rogelio: Keep you eyes fixed on a spot
Before squatting down, locate a spot in front of you at eye level to keep your eyes fixed on as you squat down and back up. This ensures that your chest is kept up and you keep track of the positioning correctly. Avoid squatting in front of a mirror, this is the worst thing you can do and is actually dangerous because you will lose concentration from seeing your reflection and the reflection of others.
Apply these 5 tips, throw 300lbs on your back after a 2 hour long session of Olympic weightlifting like I do and pay your dues to alpha yourself! Even better if you do it shirtless.
The Squat is a great exercise for men to develop overall body strength, stamina and muscle. If you want to take your fitness seriously, you need to be squatting but not all Squats are equal. By performing optimal squats with my 5 tips to fix your Squat, you will immediately enhance your fitness and strength efforts and in turn become an overall better man!
All the best.