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We’ve talked before about the importance of good technique when doing CrossFit. In this article we want talk specifically about the squat.
Before we get started, here’s a quick summary of CrossFit for those who have never heard of it before. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that consists of both aerobic and strength based exercises known as “WODs” (workouts of the day). CrossFit exercises are either based on bodyweight movements or use equipment such as barbells, kettlebells and ropes.
A squat is a compound exercise that primarily focuses on the muscles of the lower body; it is considered to be a compound exercise because many muscle groups are involved. Squats are referred to as a functional exercise because they mimic an activity that we perform many times each day – getting up and down from a chair. Besides building muscle mass in the lower body and improving your ability to do everyday activities squats also help with maintaining mobility in the major joints of the lower body – your hips, knees and ankles. Some people mistakenly have the belief that squats are bad for your knees when the opposite is actually true – squats are beneficial for both the strength and mobility of your knees. Adding squats to your exercise routine can also make you look better by toning your glutes and improving core stability which can give the appearance of a narrower waistline.
Squats can be done with bodyweight for resistance or you can add weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells. There are many variations as well – front squats, back squats, goblet squats, pistol squats and even sumo squats. Squats truly are modifiable for every level of fitness and ability.
Because a squat is a compound movement and many muscles and joints are involved it is no surprise that executing proper technique of this exercise can be challenging. This video summarizes the common problems that people encounter when performing a squat.
While learning about the proper movement patterns involved in a squat is helpful, it is no match for having a professional evaluate your individual technique. Physical therapists are most known for helping people recover from injuries but they also play an important role in injury prevention. Unfortunately many people are missing out on the potential benefits that this powerful exercise has to offer because they experience discomfort when performing squats or their technique just doesn’t feel right so they avoid doing them.
If you are an avid CrossFitter or maybe you incorporate squats into your regular fitness routine, have your squat technique evaluated today! Give us a call at (780) 980-5443 to schedule your appointment today!