The squat is a fundamental movement that will lead to maximal strength gains, as well as improve the development of power potential. No matter what training level, everyone can squat. Learning how to hip hinge, rotate the knee’s outward (spreading the floor), and use the upper back / torso to stabilize is the most efficient way to develop total body strength. There are many different squatting variations. Depending on your current training level, here are 3 different variations.
1. Goblet Squat: This is a great movement for a novice. The goblet squat can be performed with a dumbbell, kettle-bell, and/ or medicine ball. The resistance will be held in front, at chest height, with the elbows pointed down towards the knees. Throughout the movement it is best to keep the resistance close to the body the entire time. This will require the upper back to stabilize the weight by squeezing the shoulder blades together (retract) and down (depress).
2. BB Squat to Box: This variation is a solid movement for an intermediate lifter that has already developed the squatting movement pattern. The box is there to gauge depth, and as a teaching tool to sit back. At no point should there be any relaxation while squatting to a box. If the box was removed you should still be able to hold the squat form. When choosing a box height it’s best to use a height that allows the thigh (femur) to break parallel (hip joint is below the knee). This will be specific to the individual.
3. BB Squat: The back squat, when performed correctly is an extremely beneficial exercise. The ability to efficiently transition from the deceleration to acceleration phase of the squatting movement will not only lead to maximal strength, but will positively transfer to all the sprint and jumps concurrently performed during the training program.