Whether you are training for aesthetic, performance or health reasons the squat pattern should be part of your training programme. The squat is naturally the most biomechanically friendly and efficient resting for the human body – we’ve all seen the pictures of men sat in the bottom of a squat playing chess right?
One of the main reasons people in modern day society struggle to achieve a strong and efficient squat position is a lack of hip mobility and stability. Many of you reading this will be used to reading that hip mobility limits the squat position but very few people actually talk about hip stability. The reason hip stability is vitally important is because mobility is largely determined by stability. If your brain, and more specifically your nervous system does not perceive a sense of stability when you move it will create stability by reducing the amount of range of motion your joints can access (i.e. Mobility). This is essentially to keep you safe from potential damage. If your nervous system cannot control a joint in a particular range of motion it will ‘feel’ unsafe.
How do you create more stability?
There are two big mistakes people make when performing mobility exercises;
(1) They rush them and spend very little time accessing new ranges of motion
(2) They get lazy and don’t create tension in new ranges of motion
The key to enhancing mobility and stability is moving slowly, spending time creating tension and control in new ranges of motion. This may take a little bit of getting used to at first because naturally people will rush when they don’t have control over a movement. You don’t need to use any fancy bands, balls or rollers. You just need a small amount of space and yourself.
When I say create tension, what I mean is contracting all of the muscles which contribute to the movement together.
Here is a great example of 3 movements to combine together to create mobility & then stability in under 5 minutes.
1.) World’s Greatest Stretch 2 x 6 each side
2.) 3D Adductor Rock Back 1 x 8 each variation, each side
3.) Goblet Squat 4 x 4 (4-4-4-2) (ecc-iso-con-iso)
About the Author
Alex Morrell (MSc, BSc (Hons), MCSP) is a Sports Physiotherapist working in international and professional rugby alongside private practice. He has a keen interest in all things training & performance from his sports science/S&C background. (@theonlinephysiocoach)