Squat Technique: Maintaining “Tightness” and Why It’s Important
Some of you may recall a video blog I filmed a few weeks ago where I discussed the importance of paying closer attention to the set up with regards to squatting.
It’s a component that I feel many people glaze over, and something that deserves a little more love. Unfortunately, many approach squatting – especially the set-up – with a nonchalant attitude, and subsequently either 1) performance suffers or worse 2) someone gets injured.
What really surprised me was just how much attention the video garnered. It certainly wasn’t for my good looks. I mean I’m pretty, but not that pretty.
What it told me was that it’s a topic that people are interested in and want to learn more about.
Or maybe part of the popularity was that it gave people an opportunity to debate. I couldn’t believe how many people made a stink over something as nondescript as my preference to coach people to grab the bar with their thumbs (rather than set up with the thumbs over the bar).
Some made the case that it places more stress on the wrists.
Okay. So what? Correct me if I’m wrong here, but genrally speaking, squats suck. Like, a lot. We’re not picking daises and running underneath a rainbow here. There’s going to be some level of discomfort going on.
And NEWSLASH: squats are going to place a stress on the body, wrists included.
If for some reason your wrists hurt while grabbing the bar, fine, do it your way. I really could care less, and understand there is some degree of personal preference here.
The main point to hammer and what I felt was lost in translation was the notion that one PULLS DOWN on the bar to increase stability and tightness.
And it’s the latter point – the whole concept of “tightness” – which is the crux of today’s post.
What do we mean by “staying tight” when squatting? And why is it beneficial?
In this short video I cover:
1. Why getting your air, twice (which is something both Mike Robertson and Jim Smith have discussed in the past) is crucial.
2. Why, when box squatting, I’m not a fan of allowing people to rock/relax on the box itself.
While I didn’t mention it in the video, I liken it to a melting candle. Which is to say: losing tightness at the bottom is not going to do your back any favors.
Give it a look, and let me know what you think!