Squat Mobility Challenge

Week 1: The Air Squat

The goal for Week 1 is to begin to understand the power of the test/re-test. Seeing actual change and improvement in your air squat can be the catalyst you need to actually spend time on mobility. Are the knees caving in? Heels coming up? Trouble hitting depth? Chest falling down? These are all things that can be identified by spending time in the bottom of your squat and can immediately be improved upon. Week 1 exercises are simple and effective. Establish consistency.  No days off! 

Week 1 - Daily Mobility Work:

Test: Spend 1 minute in the bottom of your squat. Then complete the following...

A.)   2 minutes rolling out Quad (Right leg)

-Roll up and down and side to side. Remember to keep taking deep breaths, especially when you reach the belly of the quad.

B.)   2 minutes rolling out IT Band (Right leg)


-Rolling side to side or “against the grain” can be particularly effective on the IT band.  Relax and keep breathing! 

C.)   2 min Hip Flexor stretch with Band (Right leg)

 

-Place band around the hip and take a step back so there is tension in the band. Drop into a lunge position with the right knee on the ground. Drive your hips forward while keeping your abs and right glute engaged. Do not over extend your lumbar spine.

D) Re-test: Spend 1 minute in the bottom of your squat. Notice a difference?

 

Repeat A, B, and C on the left leg

Re-test your squat and take note of the changes made!


Week 2: The Air Squat

Recap: Week 1 is in the books. Our goal was to learn the power of the test/re-test and understand how 10-15 minutes of focused mobility can create real change. Hopefully you were able to establish some consistency. 

In Week 2 we will be prescribing a new set of mobility exercises to focus on. However, you are welcome to continue practicing any/all of the techniques used in Week 1. Don't forget to use your test/re-test! Otherwise, in Week 2 we will be accumulating additional time in the bottom of our squat. This time can be accumulated throughout the day. The important thing is that you are spending time in this position whenever possible. If you are having trouble sitting in the absolute bottom of your squats (heels grounded, hamstring to calves, chest up, back flat) you may hold on to the rig or anything else to keep your balance.

 

Daily Mobility Work

A.)   Hip Flexor Stretch with band & medicine ball – 2 minutes each side

- Place band around the hip and take a step back so there is tension in the band. Drop into a lunge position with the right knee on the ground. Place your back foot on top of the medicine ball. Drive your hips forward while keeping your abs and right glute engaged. Do not over extend your lumbar spine. 

B.)    Hip & Glute smash with lacrosse ball – 2-3 minutes each side

- Lying on the ground, place a lacrosse ball in the front of your hips and work the ball around towards the side of your hips and into your glutes. At any point you should be able to take your entire body weight into the ball and take full breaths. 

C.)    Adductor Stretch against the wall – 2 minutes

- Sit on the ground with butt touching the wall and back flat. Keeping your heels on the wall begin to spread your  legs into a wide “V” position until you feel a stretch throughout the inside of your legs and groin. Remember to take full and deep breaths. 

D.)   Accumulate 3 – 5 minutes in the bottom of your squat

- Use a squat rack, chair or band for assistance if needed. This can be broken up throughout the day.


Week 3: The Air Squat

Recap: Now that we are two weeks in you should begin to see some real change with your squat mobility. Pay attention to how your improved mobility is translating into better squat performance in your WODs this week.

In Week 3 we will again add new exercises but incorporate any of the previous exercises into your routine. This week we will be taking the couch stretch to a whole new level, if it is too intense then stick with the medicine ball we used last week. Continue to accumulate time in the bottom of your squat throughout the day.

 

A.)   Super Couch Stretch - 2 minutes per side

- Set up with the band around the hip like the traditional hip flexor stretch. Take a lighter band and loop it around your back foot. Pull the band so your heel is raised towards your butt. The higher you pull your heel the more intense the stretch.

B.)    Calf Mash with KB -  2 minutes per side

- Starting at the base of your calf begin to mash side to side and work your way towards the bottom of your knee. For extra pressure you can place your other leg on top.

C.)    Adductor Mash with KB - 2 minutes per side

- Place the KB on the inside of the thigh near your groin. While lying on your stomach begin to flex and extend your leg. Take the leg through as many different ranges of motion as possible. Work your way to the bottom of the thigh.

D.)   Accumulate 3-5 minutes in bottom of squat


Week 4: The Air Squat

Recap: Three weeks down and one to go!  Week 3 gave us useful drills to put in our mobility tool bags. Calf and adductor mashing with the kettlebell should become part of your maintenance work. Continue showing them some love!

In Week 4 we will dive deeper into the bottom of the squat by spending some time working on the ankle and the front of the shin. We will also use the goblet squat to create excellent positions in the bottom. Remember don’t let this be the end, continue to work on and improve the foundation of what we do – the air squat.

 

A.)    Couch Stretch - 2 minutes per side

- Set up with your shin flat against the wall. Keeping your belly tight and butt squeezed begin to pick your chest up. Work on taking full breaths in and out. If you cannot sit all the way up that is ok…do not cheat by pulling your knee and shin away from the wall.

B.)    Tib smash with roller -  2 minutes per side

- Place the front of your shin on top of the roller and hold yourself up with your hands. Take your other leg and place it across the leg you are smashing. Roll up and down or side to side. If you do not have access to a roller this can also be done with a lacrosse ball.

C.)    Ankle / Heel floss – 40-50 reps per side

- Wrap a band around the base of your ankle and place your foot on the top of a box. Take a kettlebell and place it on top of your knee. From this position begin driving your knee forward while keeping your heel down. Continue to oscillate back and forth. Make sure your knee is not tracking in and your arch is not collapsing.

D.)   Goblet Squat – 6 x :20 second hold

Work on a perfect position in the bottom of your squat. Make sure your chest is up, knees are out and your butt is touching your calves.