It would be hard to find a trainer that wouldn’t rank the squat as one of the top 3 exercises. Why squat is called the King of exercises?
The reasons are many, but I will single out only a few. First, the squat belongs to a group of biotic motor skills, or in natural forms of movement that are embedded in our genetic code. The sedentary lifestyle of the general population has left many people without the ability to squat, even without a load. They lost motor control while the muscles lose the function for which they were intended. The squat is a multi-joint exercise involving a large number of muscles and muscle groups.
There is also a large number of different variants of the squat. Squats can affect repetitive strength, explosive strength, can develop maximum power, can affect reactibility of the neuromuscular system, we can exert influence on the development of functional abilities and the morphological characteristics of athletes. In this article I will not go into depth kinesiology or anthropological analysis of the back squat, but I will focus on the different stages, the frequent errors that occur during the performance, and the influence the squat has on the human body.
As a motor skill, THE squat belongs to a group of the most elementary human motion. It falls inside basic gross motor skills that human beings learn very early, about when they learn to walk.
The squat is a social kinesiological motor skill and it is supported by the multiple variants that occur in exercise under load. Elementary criteria divide squats on those performed on a single foot and those who performing on both feet.
Another fundamental division is how deep the squat is performed. So we know quarter squat, halfsquat, parallel squat and full squat. With regard to the type of load, squats are divided into those that are performing with free weight and those that are performed on exercise equipment.
Phases of Squat:
- The starting position
- The eccentric phase
- The zero point or bottom position
- The concentric phase
- Final position
Starting Position. In the initial position, the athlete is under the bar so that his feet are parallel. The bar is located on your upper back and shoulders in one of two positions that define two different back squats. If the bar is in the low bar position, in which the weight is on the posterior deltoid and middle portion of the trapezius much wider grip is used. If the bar in the high bar position, in which the weight on upper trapezius and neck then a grip only slightly wider than the shoulders is used. The elbows were raised forming a platform with the muscles of the upper back of the bar rest on. The shoulder blades are pulling together in the chest is up.
The athlete extends his hips and knees to lift the bar out of the rack and then takes one or two steps backwards. Feet are approximately shoulder width apart depending on the squat style and the athletes biomechanics. Every repetition begins and ends with this position.
Eccentric Phase. Eccentric (yielding) part of the performance begins with the simultaneous flexion of the foot hip and knee joints and lower trunk. In doing so, the athlete should keep the position outlined bent back with elbows held high and his chest thrust forward and up.
Bottom Position. At the stage of zero point, heels should be kept on the floor and care is taken not to let the knees travel forward unnecessarily pass the feet. The athlete should pay attention that their spine stays flat during the lift and does not round over. The hip and knee joint should be parallel to each other at this stage.
Concentric Phase. Concentric (overcoming) part of the performance begins simultaneous extension joints of the foot, knee, and hip. The back is straight, elbows held high and his chest thrown forward. Heels should be kept on the floor and knees projection does not exceed a foot. Do not bend the torso and do not hunch the back. Continuously perform an extension to the starting position. During this phase, the athlete exhales.
Concentric (overcoming) part of the performance begins simultaneous extension joints of the foot, knee, and hip. The back is straight, elbows held high and his chest thrown forward. Heels should be kept on the floor and knees projection does not exceed a foot. Do not bend the torso and do not hunch the back. Continuously perform an extension to the starting position. During this phase, the athlete exhales.
Final Position. The final position is identical to the initial position. After one or two steps ahead athlete lowers the weight to the rack.
Back Squat, Conclusion
The squat is called the King of exercises for reason. It definitely has a place in sports preparation. Great attention should be paid to the methodology and the squat technique and, later on maximal loads. Only in this way can we expect concrete changes for the better and progression when it comes to sports training and progress of our athletes. It is important to correct mistakes in the beginning as it is very hard to correct them later on.. Although legs perform the main movement, the torso, in this case, must provide sufficient stability because without proper core stability it is impossible to have the correct performance. Attention must be paid to the placement of the bar on the back, the movement of the knees and ankle joints, and the athletes breathing patterns.
There are a number of modifications of the squat and its variants. Whatever option you choose, make sure that the athlete is performing correctly. In this way, we will keep the possibility of injury to a minimum and maximize the athletes performance.