The squat is one of the most basic movement patterns of the human body.
Despite being an essential movement pattern, many children and adults lack the ability to perform a proper squat.
But this movement, can and should be trained, not only by athletes but by all types of people, regardless of whether they are part of a special population group or a seemingly healthy individual.
It is imperative that this gesture be easy for everyone to perform so that they can do the simplest functions of everyday life, like going from sitting to standing, for example.
At first glance, the execution of the squat may seem to require only mobility in the joints of the lower limbs – legs: ankle, knee, and hip, but this movement requires motor control and more muscles in the entire body.
And what is motor control?
It is the ability of an individual to efficiently use the available range of motion, through muscle activation, in a close relationship between the order of contraction and the order of relaxation.
So, it is in the relationship between mobility and motor control of these movements that lies the correct execution, in this case, of the squat.
When the performers, athletes or the general population, and coaches understand this relationship, then they can choose exercises for progression, correction, or optimization and strengthening of this basic movement of the human body.
Execution – Description
- Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Toes point slightly outward – 5 to 20 degrees.
- Look straight ahead.
- Chest open.
- Spine well-aligned vertically.
- Weight distributed over the entire foot. Imagine a triangle connecting the two points of the plantar and heel area.
- Start squatting,
- Arms in front elevation, (raised in front of the face, parallel to the floor).
- Let the pelvis recede and only then the knees begin to bend, moving forward slightly.
- All the way down and up, keep contracting the core (abdominals and back). All well contracted as if we were going to “take a punch”.
- The weight should keep the whole foot supported, but the toes “loose”.
- Heel always on the ground throughout.
- Continue to descend by pushing the pelvis back and at the same time flexing the knees more.
- As the knees flex, make sure they point toward the tip of the foot, pushing outward.
- Lifting the arms should help allow the torso to remain almost vertical (between 80 and 60 degrees maximum.
- Always share the weight between levers.
- On the way down breathe in and on the way up breathe out.
- When the hip joint is below the knee (when you break parallel) or lower still, come back up.
- Keep all involved muscle groups contracted, pushing off the ground, keeping the whole foot well rooted in the ground, focusing on pressure on the heels.
- Push off the ground and extend the knees, until the head is well up at the highest point, lowering the arms, in a synchronized manner, this time focusing on the strength of the glutes, to accomplish the ascent.
Note: Very important!
If there is a pain in the knee, ankle, thighs, or back during execution, you should seek a specialist – a physical therapist!
A myth is an idea that has been passed down through generations, but which has no validity.
In the case of the squat, some come from my university days, when if you did a full squat in the Fitness assessment, you failed the course. 🤦♀️
But the squat is a basic, natural movement of the human body.
So never go on these talks:
“When doing leg press, don’t go lower than halfway.”
“When squatting, don’t go below parallel.”
“Don’t let your knee go beyond your foot during repetitions.”
What is the importance for Surfing?
If this standard movement is not easy to execute, then it is guaranteed that there will be limitations at a certain stage of the surfers’ progression.
In fact, if the person has difficulty getting up from the ground, imagine sliding.
That is why the total squat, is one of the exercises we evaluate in the battery of evaluation tests at the Good Surf Good Love Academy.
On the day of the baptism we evaluate the execution:
- Executes with ease;
- Performs with difficulty;
- Presents pain.
With this data, we adjust the instruction in order to be successful.
If there is difficulty in execution, although we provide a solution for this first experience, we immediately give a sense of the impact that this gap will have on the next sessions and the eventual continuation of the progression.
In case of pain, we evaluate the possibility of continuing or not, but we always recommend a consultation with the specialist – the physical therapist.
If there is normal execution, we evaluate the strength, through comfort in repetition. This “test” will help us measure the possibility of progression to levels 1 and 2 of the Good Surf Good Love Academy.
With the practitioners of the Academy, who are doing our Sports Training Program, we try to support the evolution of this and other basic movements and skills.
We are not always successful at this level 😅. The adults, because they have little time, and the children, because both they and their parents often see surfing as a pastime game.
But whenever our surfers have strength in their gills and can follow our sport values, we are here to give everything.
As I usually say, if the Good Surf Good Love team is ready to give everything, from those who demand from us I won’t admit a drop of sweat less!
Squatting is a fundamental human movement pattern that involves almost every muscle in the body. It is useful for picking things up off the floor, going to the bathroom, sitting, and improving general physical condition. Oh, and for surfing! It is essential for surfing!
Performing this movement makes us more athletic, improves our physical condition and our life in general.