If there's one thing I'd really like to do more of in 2020 it is helping you improve your form and technique on various lifts, not only for safety but to maximise their impact on stimulating hypertrophy.
I feel there is a lot of potential lost within form and technique on many lifts and if you were able to change this you would be able to get a lot more from your workouts.
The squat is one of the more complex exercises to master because there are multiple stages to this exercise, however you don't need me to tell you that it is an amazing exercise.
It's highly anabolic in the sense it places great stress on your entire body therefore your hormonal reaction will be greater. And in terms of leg development its able to place demands upon the fibres within your thighs, hamstrings and glutes which no other exercise can match.
Even the calorie demands the squat places on your body is great for keeping your fat levels in check.
So here are 3 things I want you to start focusing on when squatting . . .
#1. Glute activation
Once you have taken the bar off the rack and got your stance in line, squeeze your glutes before you even begin to squat. This will do 2 key things -
1. Naturally draw your feet to their natural angle before you squat which will give you a better foundation to push through
2. Increase the amount of activation within your glutes which is great for development in this area AND performance whilst squatting. Your glutes are your strongest muscle group so engaging them will improve your squat!
#2. Go backwards first
One of the biggest mistakes when squatting is breaking at the knees first, leading with them. This is going to increase the chances of injury due to added stress at the patella tendon.
It also means you will struggle to get deep enough because this angle is going to force your heels off the floor as you get closer to the ground. NOT GOOD !! (this is also not helped by the fact a lot of people suffer with dorsiflexion deficit due to tight calves/achilles)
You need to start the movement leading with your ass first, and this will help keep you in a stronger position on the way down AND enable you to reach depth more comfortably.
#3. Watch your knees
To get the most out of the squat you have to make sure mechanically you are working in a way which works with your body and not against!
During the transition from the eccentric phase of the squat to the concentric phase its very common to see peoples knees fall inwards (tracking). This increases the risk of injury but it also reduces the effectiveness of the squat in my opinion due to the fact that you've lost tension in certain areas and some power in moving the weight (which contributes towards muscle fibre stimulation).
So at this point make a conscious effort to keep your knees out and stable! Knee wraps can also help with this!
⭐ Other training, nutrition, and supplement knowledge:
Let us know in the comment how you think and if you have any questions about this topic, feel free to ask. Besides, we will also gladly help you to learn more about protein powder, pre-workout, or other supplements you would like to find/use in Singapore.