Whether you’ve just started CrossFit or have been CrossFitting for years, you’ve undoubtedly heard mention of the importance of taking the time to truly develop and master the Squat. You’ve also likely heard the term “Virtuosity”; doing the common uncommonly well.
The Squat is one of the first things you learn to do in CrossFit. It is not only foundational to so many of the other movements we do in CrossFIt, but it is one of the most very natural things we learn to do virtually in infancy. It is very much a part of your DNA. Watch any small child and you will see this is true. A two year old has one of the most amazing and beautiful Squats you will ever see. It is nearly perfect. Virtuosity exemplified. So why is it then that we lose that ability over time? There is no single answer. It is likely a combination of things ranging from inactivity and “disuse” to severely unaddressed diminishing mobility and simple lack of exercise and functional movement. As we go about our lives, striving to fulfill all those expectations that society puts on us; earning a degree or three, working 60 hour weeks, etc, sometimes we let the most basic and intrinsic parts of our humanity fall to the side, such as exercise and our ability to Squat.
Don’t be dismayed if your two year old has a far better Squat than you. Just as it took your two year old (and you) time to learn to walk (and squat), so too will it take you time to reclaim your birthright, that beautiful Squat you once had in infancy.
There are many things we can do and implement in our pursuit of reclaiming a perfect Squat. Aside from doing things like the “squat-stretch” with one of the uprights on the awesome Rogue rig, one of the things I often have athletes do is to gradually work their way down to a “box” while doing an Air-Squat, lightly touching their butt to the box while maintaining control, fighting hard to avoid the tendency to “plop” down onto the box. After achieving a controlled contact with the box, the goal is to force the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, etc) to engage and contribute to moving off of the box and rising back up through the squat into a standing position. All without rocking the body forward and relying just on the quads. Being very focused on the task at hand, we are trying hard to have very deliberate and controlled movement patterns so as to force better neurological development. We are literally trying to rewire the brains connection to the posterior chain.
Good things take time and hard work pays off! Keep them up!
Throw back Thursday: How low can you go?
240 Kilo Squat (529.109 pounds) can seem almost preternatural to most people, yet nothing could be further from the truth. (Photo courtesy of HOOKGRIP.)
Posted on 09/22/2016 at 03:40:00 PM