Boost Your Back Squat: 3 Easy Tips for a Stronger, Safer Lift
ATTENTION, WICHITA WEIGHTLIFTERS:
If you've been hitting the gym and trying to perfect your back squat, you're on the right track to building a stronger, healthier body. Today, let's talk about a few simple tweaks you can make to your technique to supercharge your back squat game.
These tips come right from our expert team of doctors of physical therapy, so you can be assured you're making the right moves to avoid injury while lifting and perfect your peak performance. Try them out today if you've noticed any pain or stiffness in your back, joints or neck.
1. Keep Your Head in Line
First things first, let's talk about where your head should be during a back squat. You might not realize it, but the position of your head matters a lot. Bad news, your high school coach was WRONG.
Instead of craning your neck up or letting it drop too low, aim to keep it in a straight line with your spine. We call this "spinal neutral." Imagine your head as an extension of your spine – this helps you maintain proper form and reduces the risk of straining your neck.
2. Wrist Woes? Find Neutral!
Now, let's move on to the wrists. What does your wrist have to do with squatting?!
When you're squatting, you want your wrists to be in a neutral position. That means they should neither be bent too far back nor forward. Keeping your wrists neutral helps create more upper back stability and allows you to better engage your core, which is crucial for a successful squat.
3. Embrace Your Knees Going Forward
Now, let's debunk a common myth: it's totally okay for your knees to go beyond your toes during a squat!
In fact, allowing your knees to move forward a bit can do wonders for your lower back. It helps improve the position of your lower back and reduces strain on your lumbar tissues. So, don't be afraid to let those knees travel past your toes. A good rule of thumb is for your shin angle to match your back angle.
In a Nutshell
To sum it up, nailing the perfect back squat is all about keeping your head and spine in alignment, ensuring your wrists are in a neutral position, and embracing the natural movement of your knees. These simple adjustments can make a world of difference in the effectiveness and safety of your back squat.
Remember, practice makes perfect! So, next time you're at the gym, give these tips a try and watch as your back squat becomes a powerhouse move in your fitness routine. Happy squatting!
Still aching after every meet? Want a pro to check your form? Wondering how you can boost your performance to BRAND NEW HEIGHTS?
Set up a free 30-minute discovery call today to speak with our physical therapy experts and get personalized recommendations for your goals.