BULK POWDERS® athlete and GB Powerlifter Stephen Manuel shows us how to squat correctly with some tips and demonstration for beginners.
Being an IPF Powerlifter, the rules state that the crease of the hip should go below the knee. Stephen believes you don’t always have to go this low if you’re not a powerlifter – it’s more important to keep a nice tight spine and getting parallel.
To help get a good squat depth and a tight spine, you need nice mobile ankles. Lifting shoes with a raised heel can help as they create more flection at the ankle joint which is going to make it easier to hit depth. You could also work on some dorsiflexion drills. Lifting shoes are not an excuse to not do these exercises!
As well as mobile ankles, you need mobile hips to get the depth. To travel downwards while keeping a tight spine, the knees need to be pushed out all the way through the movement. If you run out of space in the hip, you end up curving your spine to achieve the depth which is not what you want.
To begin, have your feet shoulder width apart, maybe a little wider. Place the bar anywhere it feels comfortable and point toes out slightly. When you begin the movement, force the knees out and slowly go downwards. Stay in the hold for a couple of seconds and then drive up, finally squeezing the glutes.
Stephen’s last piece of advice? Don’t train your ego – take your time, don’t run before you can walk!