Here is my logical explanation as to why squats should be the first compound movement introduced into an individual’s program. Why?
Common sense, every individual squats.
Getting in and out of the vehicle – it’s a squat
Sitting in a chair- it’s a squat
Using the toilet – you’re squatting.
Did you know 60-80% of the population has or will suffer from shoulder &/or lower back pain? Properly executing squats on a weekly basis helps correct your posture & can drastically minimize your chance of becoming apart of the statistic.
Now that I’ve made my point, let’s dive into the barbell squat. Most individuals are afraid of getting under a barbell, due to risk of injury. On the other side of the spectrum, some jump the gun & get under a barbell without the capacity to support the movement – resulting in injury.
Taking a look at the human anatomy, to minimize the risk of injury & maximize your squat potential – I’ve identified my three non-negotiables/pre-requisites before introducing a barbell squat:
1. Hip mobility – Endless unilateral mobility & stability drills until a stable, proper ROM can be performed.(If you’re a coach- Check out pre-script courses for stability drills).
2. Strong core – Lumbar stability!! If a client can’t hold a minute plank while properly breathing – they shouldn’t be touching a barbell.
3. Strong Upper back – rows, rows & more rows. The stronger your upper back is- the more secure the barbell and load will be throughout the movement. The goal here is to have as much Lat. & rear delt engagement as possible with minimal to no movement in your upper back. This will protect your Spine & support the squat.
Once all pre-requisites are passed – a barbell squat should be the first compound exercise programmed.
Your spine is in an upright position when performing a squat (unlike a deadlift). The average individual can make a stronger neuromuscular connection when in a natural, everyday movement. Based off my experience, individuals pick up on the squat pattern at a faster rate because they are actually squatting without realizing – multiple times a day.
Every anatomy moves differently based on genetic composition, environmental adaptations, injuries etc. Knowing that, I am not going to sell you a generic squat program. If you’re ready to take your training to the next level- empower yourself & get under a barbell.
I would love to perform a virtual movement assessment and create a personalized program for you – let’s maximize your progress & results.
Send me an email or reach out via website inquiry.
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