Brianna Guzman | B.S. Exercise Science
What is Mobility?
Time to get honest about the air squat form. The standard squat position
Often, coaches throw 'mobility' around, saying work on mobility to enhance the squat position. However, what exactly are coaches addressing, the flexibility of one's tissues or the range of motion through one's joints?
Think of it like this; Mobility refers to joints actively moving through motions, whereas flexibility refers to how proficient the joints passively move through the motion; achieving both flexibility and mobility in the joints is ideal. Restrictions in the squat dictate joint immobility and/or tissue tightness. A variety of variables such as;
The squat is a complex movement that incorporates multiple muscles and joints to execute. The good news is that the lack of mobility can be addressed, assessed, and aided to improve the squat.
Ways to Improve squat mobilityHip and ankle Mobilization
The squat heavily relies on the hip, knees, and ankle joints. The hip joint flexes when descending into the squat, allowing the hips to sit back. The knees flex, bending over the ankles. The ankles dorsiflex. When ascending from the bottom of the squat, the ankles plantarflex. The knees extend, and the hips extend. The muscles surrounding each joint allow movements to flow appropriately through the joint. When the joints' muscles are tight, issues such as the heels lifting when at the bottom of a squat are because the ankles cannot properly dorsiflex or the hips cannot comfortably flex with agitated hip flexors.
As mentioned, hip mobility is not just about the range of motion that the joint can achieve. The joint must ACTIVELY move through the motion with control and stability. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the hip is a great way to improve mobility in the squat. An example, something as simple as performing a slow and controlled goblet squat with moderate weight can help strengthen those hips. Sitting at the bottom of a goblet squat, allowing more time under tension, and focusing on the squat position can also help strengthen while working on the active mobility of the hip joint.
Recommended Squat Mobility Routine Banded Pigeon
Place band in the hip fold and place the front leg in a 90 deg bent position. Allow the band to gently pull the hip. Hold the position for 30 seconds breathing deeply and rocking forward and back in the same position.
Place both legs in a 90-degree bent position, sitting upright, this position alone may be a good stretch alone. If manageable place both feet on the ground and rock to the opposing side, landing in the same 90 degrees bent position. Repeat these steps slowly, staying upright as best as possible while rocking between the positions.
Referring to the first image: Face away from the band, in a half-kneeling position, keep heel planted on the ground and slowly lean forward while keeping the heel planted on the ground.
Referring to the second image: Elevate foot on a small plate, keep heel planted on the ground and slowly lean toward the band.
If you have mobility and or stability limitations, BOOK an appointment for Private Training or Sports Rehab Physical Therapy today!
Author: Annemarie Alf
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