Weight Training For Women, Step 3. Improving Your Squat
Last post we talked about how to assess your squat so this post we cover the exercises I use to actually fix those flaws! Bear in mind that these exercises are secondary to actually squatting.
If you find your knees caving in – weak hamstrings/glutes
Cable pull through
Excessive forward lean, heels coming off the ground – poor ankle mobility
Foam roll your calves
Stretch your calves
Squat with elevated heels and work on gradually lowering
Upper back rounds – tight upper back
Foam roll your upper back
Over arching your lower back – tight hip-flexors/weak core
Cable pull through. This is a fantastic exercise for developing strength in legs and lower back.
Kettlebell Swings. Again, these are a great accessory exercise to strengthen your hips and legs. They’ll also really help with your hip drive when you stand up in the squat!
Side Lunges. These will improve your hip flexibility and tone your adductors all at the same time. As you can imagine, it’s one of my Foxes favourite exercises 😉
Face pulls. Weird name but a very important exercise, especially for women, it will strengthen your upper/mid back muscles, which help improve posture – essential if you’ve a desk job or are gifted in the bust department!
Foam Rolling. This form of self massage can be a bit painful but is supremely effective at improving muscle quality. I’ll write more about it soon but the basic principle is to use the roller on tight muscles and literally “roll the tension” out.
Calf stretches. Very important, especially if you find yourself in high heels a lot. Stretching your calves will help with your ankle mobility.
Squat with elevated heels. Lifting your heels makes it easier to squat deeper as you won’t need so much of a range of motion in your ankles. I sometimes use this to help someone squat deeper but it’s not a long term solution. Go stretch your calves 🙂
Hip stretches. This is my go to hip stretch. Tower Bridge as a backdrop optional 🙂 Keep your back neutral, people tend to over arch and stick their chests out.
Planks. Hold yourself straight, neck and hips neutral. Keep your abs tight and breathe naturally.