Making the Squat Look and Feel More Like a Squat

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Squat technique is a daunting topic to write about. No matter what, despite logic, sound reasoning and the fact not everyone falls neatly into any one way of doing anything (especially as it relates to lifting weights), some people are going to get triggered and go batshit crazy.

This post may rub some people (and coaches) the wrong way, but I beg you to take a deep breath, listen to what I have to say, and understand that this is not an attack against you or your way of doing things.

Rather, what follows is a brief look into what works for me and what I feel works best for the bulk of people I work with on a weekly basis as it relates to coaching the squat.

In short: Making the squat look more like a squat.

 

Huh, Come Again Now?

Gone, I feel, are the days where we’re overzealous with cueing people to aggressively sit back during their squats.

For competitive powerlifters, who are into powerlifting, and who are wearing squat suits, while they powerlift…the cue to sit back makes a lot of sense.

For everyone else?

Mmm, not so much.

Call me crazy (and some may do just that), but I’d garner a guess that many trainees would benefit from two subtle tweaks to their squat:

  1. No more (or less emphasis on) sitting back.
  2. Finding and maintaining foot pressure.

The former is not to say I don’t advocate to sit back. I do. It’s just I feel there should be a simultaneous break with knees going forward AND hips going back on the descent. The net result is a SQUAT down.

The latter takes a bit more practice, but has a profound effect on one’s ability to have a bit more “umph” out of the hole (quads, baby!) and to stay in a better position throughout the rep/set (I.e., less falling or dipping forward).

Check out the brief video below. Hopefully it’ll make sense and not cause anyone to punch a wall with their face.

Making the Squat Look and Feel More Like a Squat

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  • Jack Yee

    great video! My confusion with Chad is the knee forward cue. Should our knees go forward AND out at the same time?

    Thanks!

    • Tony

      The cue push forward will automatically mean the knees will track out. Almost always. Knees should track with the toes.

  • Shane Mclean

    Great video and explanation Tony. I agree with you on the knee and hip cue. I usually go even simpler and tell them to aim their butt and their heels.

    • Tony

      That works too! Awesome.