The Only Squat Warm Up You’ll Ever Need


I’m squatting over 10 years at this stage.

I’ve come from squatting 120kg to a bench in a pair of york knees sleeves and a shitty velcro argos belt to doing over double that in powerlifting competitors.

If you requested me 3 months in the past if there was something I used to be going to study squatting now that might utterly change how I assumed concerning the elevate I’d have scoffed and stated no.

(pleasure commeth earlier than a fall proper?)

But again in October I had some sense slapped in to me by a person who’s teaching powerlifting longer than I’m alive. Guess even in my 30s I can nonetheless show the vanity of youth.

He confirmed us a squat heat up variation and a mind-set about squatting that made me realise I nonetheless know little or no.

Before ploughing on, it’s essential to qualify issues a bit – this squat heat up might be the one one you’re ever going to want IF you already transfer properly. If you progress like a picnic desk, clearly there’s different work to be performed.

If you wish to work in your mobility and motion high quality so you will get into higher positions and stay damage free, I HIGHLY advocate ROMWOD. I believe one of many causes I’ve managed to train at such a excessive quantity and keep damage free ( ** knocks wooden **) over the past 3 months  –  I’ve been doing ROMWOD exercises as usually as I can and my constant hip niggle has all however disappeared.

Get a free ROMWOD trial here.

Anyway, with that out of the best way, let’s discuss toes up squatting. Here’s the way it appears to be like.

David (4th ranked 93kg lifter at 2015 world championships) demonstrates toes elevated squat

David (4th ranked 93kg lifter at 2015 world championships) demonstrates toes elevated squat

There’s a few explanation why it really works so properly.

#1 – The toe elevation stretches every thing round your ankle joint forcing it to maneuver a bit additional than it usually would (#broscience). Technically, it creates an elevated dorsiflexion demand. You don’t have to know that, but it surely’s at all times good to remind you I’ve the flowery science phrases too, I simply select to not use em on a regular basis.

Long story brief, each squat reps turns right into a loaded ankle stretch this manner.

And that makes a number of sense – as a result of if sporting weightlifting sneakers to raise your heel makes squatting simpler (place smart) then elevating the toes ought to have reverse impact – it makes getting low in a great place tougher.

BUT foregoing weightlifting sneakers in favour of flat sneakers with NO toe elevation gained’t have the identical impact. Don’t ask me why. Its true. I’ve tried all of the totally different variations of toe / heel / shoe elevation mixture you may consider.

#2 – It teaches you to maintain your chest up. When you elevate your toes, you disrupt your middle of gravity. The temptation is to lean ahead to stability issues out. Knowing that forward of time, you change into acutely conscious once you’re tempted to do it.

The solely resolution is to jam your knees WIDE on the descent to try to hold your hips beneath the bar. That means your hips / abductors get a loopy loopy stretch as properly.

The query you could be asking proper now’s “why does any of that matter”. It issues an excellent deal. It issues as a result of the extra straight up and down your bar path, the higher. The much less it strikes forwards and backwards, the higher. The extra you will get your legs and hips into it, and your decrease again out of it, the higher.

In the brief time period, you may discover it laborious to squat along with your hips beneath the bar. But long run it’s the perfect place to be in. Just take a look at any prime degree lifter, they do an excellent job of constructing positive their hips don’t shoot up earlier than their shoulders.

The much less horizontal displacement you’ve gotten been the bar and your hips, the higher. Check out the pic under for illustration. Good on the left, “bad James” on the best.


Let’s break it aside piece by piece…

In image 1 you may see that the bar is over the center of my foot and properly balanced, my shin angle is a bit ahead, and my hips are comparatively shut. That is all GOOD. It means my legs are going many of the work.

In image 2, taken about 10 weeks in the past, you may see my hips have shot up and means from the midline. My shins are vertical, the bar is again over my heels and off stability, and I’m now counting on my again to complete the elevate for me (it did, but it surely was ugly).

If you discover your squats look extra just like the second picture than the primary, that you must think about getting your hips open and staying beneath the bar.

The GREAT NEWS in all of that is that if you follow the warm up recommendations in this post, and go all the best way as much as 70% x3 along with your toes elevated, you’ll start to do this automagically.

There could also be a number of weeks the place that you must again the weight off a bit as you get used to it, however investing sensible now can pay main dividends down the street.

Here’s a fast video of it in motion:

One remaining level to notice – as you may see within the vid I don’t make all of it the best way down for the primary couple of reps. That’s tremendous. Your objective is to get as little as you may whereas sustaining a GOOD POSITION. As you push on and loosen up (and with extra weight in your again) you’ll end up getting down simpler and simpler.

I’d love to listen to the way you get on with it, so give it a try to pop us a mail on with the outcomes.

PS – you in all probability simply wanna go forward and share this text along with your training buddies too so that you don’t have to clarify to them why the loopy man on the web advised you to place plates beneath your toes whereas everybody else has them beneath their heels


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