Squatting Straight from the Manual!

There is still controversy over squatting! Firstly, it’s crucial to remember that everyone will squat differently and that’s perfectly fine providing some basic rules are followed.

The differences in how we squat are usually multifactorial, but our unique skeletal build and current posture / alignment are huge reasons for the variations you’ll see.

Your job is to find what works best for your client and keep adapting and improving it:-)

Where is their best foot position – narrow or wide, do their feet or ankles pronate (collapse in)?

How low can your client squat with a neutral spine?

What is your client’s range of motion in their hips and ankles?

Do they have a strong enough core to squat safely with a load on their back?

What is their exercise history?

Should I load up the bar or keep progressing with bodyweight squat?

Hell! Given your client’s goals is squatting even needed?! After all, there are a zillion effective ways to train your client’s legs and hips without the need to squat..welcome to Personal Training, and I think you’ll love it!

Simple Teaching Point’s

  • Position bar on the fleshy part of the upper back
  • Feet hip-width apart
  • Abdominals braced and neutral spine
  • Initiate squat by bending from hips and knees
  • Lower under control to a comfortable range of motion
  • Knees in line with toes and heels to the floor throughout
  • Drive through the heals and breathe out through the sticking point

These points are a great starting place for a beginner client and will provide them with plenty to work on.

But, how would you advance these for a more experienced exerciser or adapt these points for a client struggling with their technique?

Take what you learn from the PT Manual and adapt it to your client’s specific needs.  Sure, anyone can write down 3 x 10 squats in a gym programme but can you really coach it?

Why are there so many Differing Opinions over Squatting?

Squatting is a very technically demanding exercise, with the potential for a lot to go wrong!

Again, it comes back to assessing your client’s needs, does your client even need to squat should be the first question!?

Depending on your education, you may be taught slightly different squatting methods. For example, if you have a degree in Strength and Conditioning you will potentially be taught slightly different methods to those taught on the PT course. However, when doing your PT course use the coaching points in the manual. As you progress in the industry you should be open to reading other views and opinions on the “best way” to squat.

But ultimately the “best way” to squat is what suits your client…remember that, and you will never go too far wrong:-)