By Amanda Jane Snyder
Hitting up the squat rack at the gym today? Do this before squatting.
Trust me, your hips, your glutes, range of motion AND your squat PR (personal record) will thank me. Most of us don’t include enough mobility and corrective exercise into our routine which ultimately is harming our progress.
If you’re somone who sits all day, which 97% of us in COVID PROBABABLY are... these exercises are for you. The last thing we want is to step up to the squat rack and not be able to give our best effort because we lack mobility, or WORSE, get injured. NO THANKS.
Everyone has imblances of some sort. It's just the nature of being human. We sit, we cross our legs, we carry bags on one side. Don't feel bad, just get to work!
There's definitely some push back in the fitness industry against "activating" your glutes before squatting. A lot of heavy lifters think it's unimportant and useless. But trust me when I say SQUATTING is useless if we're not doing it correctly... Ya heard!
photo by Andreas Wu
And do these exercises before squatting at the squat rack:
1. Giant Clams
Talk about targeting the glute medius! These will do just that. Both glute meds are working as you use it to left your hip OFF the floor and as you use it to open your leg in the clam position! These are tough! Make note if one side feels easier than the other.
2. Hip CARS
Or hip Controlled Articulate Rotation. Get those hips mobile by articulating the movement in those joints. This will help with internal and external rotation as well as targeted glute medius activation as your heel hits the back of the rotation. Most of us have weak glutes, and weak hips and therefore our squats are all over the place. If you can't tell by my facial expression... this exercise is HARD if you're doing it correctly.
3. OH Squat Prep
This deep squat position with arms overhead is going to prepare you to squat deep while engaging the core and the back. The better form in this position, the better our form will be when we hit the squat rack. This exercise is really challenging our range of motion and hip mobility as we sit deep while maintaining an upright posture.
Try these exercises and let me know how they work for you! Got some other MUST DO exercises? Comment below!
Amanda Jane Snyder is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Mindset Coach living in Brooklyn, NY. She has been vegan for 4 years. She specializes in Strength and Conditioning for Actors, Singers and Dancers.