Fix Barbell Squat Form For Taller Athletes

Posted on 17. Dec, 2010 by in Exercises, Muscle Mass, Physiology, Strength & Power

Fix Barbell Squat Form For Taller Athletes

Taller athletes can often find themselves having a harder time getting low in their squatting technique.

This can be due to a variety of factors, but the most common culprit is tightness in the ankles.

Squatting requires movement in all three joints of the lower extremities. That means the hip, knee and ankle must all move in order to reach full depth in the squat.

If you are a taller athlete pay particular attention to your ankles as you squat. Does your shin bone and the top of your foot form an angle that is less than 90 degrees? The more acute the angle is the more flexible your ankle is.

Tight glutes can keep you from being able to lower your butt. Coupled with tight ankles this limits the degree to which you can squat.

Other areas of tightness that can cause problems are the upper abs and chest, specifically pec minor. If these areas are tight they can preclude your torso from remaining upright and force you to lean forward as you sink.

So what’s the fix?

First, obviously we need to address the areas of tightness. That’s done with stretching.

Stretch the anterior surface of the ankle by sitting on your knees with your toes pointed back, the tops of your feet flat on the ground. Try and get your butt to your heels. If you’re really tight this may take some effort and time. Be patient and be consistent. Flexibility will follow.

Stretch your glutes using this stretch. Sit at a bench and cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Lean forward with a straight back and press the crossing knee towards the floor.

Use the corner of a wall or a door jamb to perform the pec minor stretch. Stand with your back to the corner and then turn your body so that you can hook your forearm against the wall. Rotate your body back to the front.

Finally the best tool for helping you lower your squat is a box. Get a box the height your trying to squat to. As you squat, lower your hips until they just touch the box and instantly explode back up. You can do these weighted or with body weight.

Be conscious of not letting your heels rise off the ground or letting your elbows roll backward. Keep your heels glued to the floor and elbows pointing at the ground.

For more squatting clues here is an older video of mine that teaches coaches how to teach the squat.

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