Why Can’t I Squat as Low?

This weeks topic is on Squats. Squats are one of the most important Primal Movement Patterns critical to optimal human functioning.

The Goblet Squat

To get great depth in the squat you require a significant amount of ankle mobility, as we want your body weight to sit directly over the foot. A lot of the time we focus on our hips and thoracic spine to improve the range of movement through out squat. One of the common problems I see on a daily basis when teaching people how to squat is that their weight is too far forward and their heels are raising off the floor, this is a sign that the lack of mobility is through the ankles.

Here are 3 ways to improve your Squat Technique:

  1. Foam Rolling Over the Calves – Tight calves can really impact the mobility of the ankle joint. Try to spend 2-3 minutes each side and apply more pressure each time.
  2. Goblet Squats – Commonly used as a strength exercise, however is very beneficial to beginners and is a great mobility and activation tool , we spend a lot of the day sitting behind a desk which then creates the inability to activate glutes, poor hip mobility, inability to activate their core, lack of thoracic mobility and tight shoulders (preventing barbell pain). So how do you do a Goblet Squat?
    • Either body weight, or pick up a kettlebell or dumbbell in the front loaded position and keep feet flat
    • Core braced and tight with the chest up
    • Sit back and squat between your legs and push the knees out with elbows facing forward
    • Repeat 4-5 reps

3.  Bulgarian Split Squats – The split squat is an exercise that should be used in a structural              balance phase as they improve ankle mobility and also lengthen the hip flexors. How do you Bulgarian Split Squat?

    • Raise your back foot on either a chair or bench (the higher the better).
    • Keep a long stance – the longer distance between the working leg and the bench the more hip separation you will create and generate more of a stretch.
    • Once set, lower your body down shifting more of you weight through the front foot through the heel and make sure you do not let you front knee go over the toes. Repeat 5-8 reps x 2 each side.


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