Times are tough, we’re here to help with practical, applicable exercises that will help you squat more (when gyms are open).
Here is the plan
- Resolve ankle mobility differences
- Create higher stability in each ankle
- Resolve leg imbalances
The outcome is
- heels not lifting in a squat
- knees not rolling out (or ankles rolling out)
- not pushing from a single leg
Stage one - Assessment
Warm up (ie, do some squats, move around a bit)
- Can you stand on both toes? Take a photo or get someone to tell you if either or both ankles rolling out?
- Can you stand on just your left, can you do a calf raise and stablize without falling over - don't hold on to anything
- Same again with the right - Which is more stable
- Can you hit a squat without your heels coming up
- In a photo - in the squat are your shoulders above your mid foot or way forward?
- Do a one legged squat on each leg - which leg can you go deeper, which leg are you more stable
- Do a AMRAP set of split squats, note each leg (pistols if you are way strong, lunges if not strong enough to split squat)
- Can you do a hip flexor stretch (a lunge, where you stretch the rear leg), and tell if they are even or uneven
- Do an ankle wall test - mark scores both sides
Well done, you are assessed
Here are your very very obvious answers
1. You need to stretch the ankle that does worse on wall test. This is priority number one. Just keep doing the test, and stretching the 'bad' ankle for 1-2 minutes in that position
2. On whatever leg you can't do a calf raise, chill on your steps and do them first, then repeat the same number on the other leg. Try to use very little stablisation with hands, go slow up and down (we're building ankle stabilisers here)
3.Stretch whichever side hip flexor is tighter
4. Squat with no weight, and warmed up ankles, until you can squat like a weightlifter (ie, shoulders over mid foot or a bit back)
5. Do split squats, weak leg first, then same amount with the other leg.
1. Ankle mobility - 10 minutes - 1 minute 'bad' leg, 30 seconds other - 5 sets
2. Calf Stability - Single leg calf raise - 5 sets each leg, 14 slow reps
3. Hip flexor mobility - held lunges - 10 minutes - 1 minute 'bad' leg, 30 seconds other - 5 sets
4. 'Perfect' form squats. 5 x 20 reps
5. Split squats, worse leg first - AMRAP 'bad' leg, same reps on other side
Repeat and Rise
To be super obvious, our position is that if you are more even, in leg strength and mobility, you are less likely to twist around (like you did last summer), and more able to drive the bar in a upward motion.
Rolling ankles are never properly looked at, nor is uneven dorsiflexion.
If you have never done single leg work, you will likely get some newb gainz, and the time without a gym now has direct impact on your ability to squat.
Let us know how it goes!