Do you know squat?
The body-weight squat is about as functional as it gets and should be included in your firefighter workout program. We squat naturally everyday with everything we do; to sit, stand, use the toilet, pick up the paper, etc., but how many people truly know how to perform this “king of exercises” correctly?
Perfecting and practicing the squat is critical for firefighters as we are often picking up heavy equipment as well as patients off the floor. The environment in which we work is usually less than ideal. If you couple this with poor squatting technique, injuries are sure to follow.
This isn’t a challenge for you to perform 500 continuous squats or maybe 10,000 this month, I just want you to take the next couple of weeks and have a really close look at your squat technique. Are you able to perform a full squat without pain? Without rounding your back? Without your knees caving?
Use some of the coaching cues below to help discover problems areas so your squat mechanics can be improved, leading to greater mobility and injury prevention.
- Begin in a natural stance with feet about shoulder width apart. Your toes can point a little outside if this is more comfortable.
- Stand tall and extend your arms forward and pack your shoulders down.
- Eyes forward, fire your glutes and activate your core.
- Begin by driving your hips BACK, not DOWN.
- Descend until hips drop just below parallel; back should remain neutral, not rounded, knees should be tracking in-line and behind your toes, not buckling in or out.
- Keep your chest up and do not pitch your torso forward.
- Drive back up through the legs and drive your hips forward and hands back. Again, watch the knee buckle during the ascent.
If you struggle with any of the cues above, don’t fret, we can fix it!
Continue to practice the squat but limit your range of motion until you can comfortably perform good technique. We encourage you to use a chair or door to limit the range and to develop the strength and mobility to continue deeper.
Three common areas that may be limiting your squat are the hips, knees, or ankles. Following our joint mobility exercises will improve your range of motion. Couple this with specific yoga poses and you will be on your way to a pain free, full depth squat.
We have joint mobility and yoga programs available in our Free Members’ Area to help you get started. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s free to join HERE! We not only provide joint mobility and yoga, but Tacfit India is sure to put your squat to the test!
We squat and we squat a lot. In our program, First Alarm, we have considered the full spectrum of squatting technique and have designed the program to address every level. We provide comprehensive joint mobility and yoga specifically to enhance the squat. We also provide many levels of the exercise to meet your current level, from chair squats to full jump squats. If you are interested in learning more just click below!