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Squat Checklist

Updated: May 25, 2021

Do you have the mobility and stability needed to squat deep? If you think you don't squat, you're wrong! The squat is a foundational movement- getting up from the toilet, sitting on the couch, or resting on a curb, all require a squat to get down and up from that position. And don't get caught in the woods needing to go to the bathroom! We squat, we should squat and we should squat well. So let's make sure you have the mobility required to squat.

Ankle, knee and hip are the joints in the lower extremity that affect the squat. Let's check each one.

1. Ankle Dorsiflexion

About 4" from the wall. Keeping your heel down on the ground, can you touch the wall with your knee? (Note: your knee should track over your little toes, not inside your big toe)

Best to have your shoes off so that you can't cheat without knowing it.

2. Hip Flexion

Using your hands can you pull your knee to your chest? Can you pull it to break parallel? You can pull both at the same time which mimics a squat. You should be able to break parallel. It is ok for the legs to drift out to the side- find the "optimal zone" for your legs to get past 90 degrees.

3. Knee flexion

Can you pull your heel to your butt or within a few inches?

** If you passed all of these tests, you have the mobility to squat. But if you still have issues squatting chances are squat balance and motor control is your issue. How can we tell?

4. Squat balance

Can you perform a deep squat while holding on to something stable for balance? If you can squat deeply and achieve good squat form while supported then you need to spend more time working at the depth of squat.

Did you pass all the tests? Do you need mobility or just to work on balance or maybe both? The squat puts all of these together and is a complex movement! Keeping working to get that depth!

Squat balance can be one of the more challenging things to get: try assisted squats, squats to a ball or stool or reverse squats (hold on to something to get to depth, let go and stand without holding on). Spend time at the bottom while reading, working on the computer or watching TV!

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