Squatting is a fundamental movement in CrossFit that engages multiple muscle groups and promotes functional strength. While many athletes focus on building strength and power for squats, they often overlook an essential component: mobility. In this blog post, we will explore why incorporating a mobility routine before squatting is crucial for optimizing performance, reducing the risk of injuries, and achieving better results.
Enhances Range of Motion
One of the primary benefits of a mobility routine before squatting is the enhancement of range of motion. By performing targeted mobility exercises, you can increase flexibility and joint mobility, enabling you to achieve a deeper squat position. An adequate range of motion is essential for maximizing the benefits of squats, allowing you to engage the muscles more effectively and achieve better results.
Mobility Exercise to Enhance Range of Motion in the Squat
- Bottom of the squat hold
- Spiderman hold
- Couch Stretch
- Pigeon Pose
Proper squatting technique is essential for performance and injury prevention. Tight muscles or limited mobility can compromise form, leading to compensatory movements and potential injuries. By incorporating a mobility routine before squatting, you can address tight areas and improve your squatting technique. This includes maintaining a neutral spine, activating the correct muscles, and executing the movement with proper alignment.
Activates Key Muscles
A targeted mobility routine activates and prepares the muscles involved in the squat, optimizing their engagement during the exercise. By performing dynamic stretches and mobility exercises that target the hips, ankles, and lower body, you can activate the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and other key muscles required for a powerful and stable squat. This activation primes the muscles for the demands of the squat, leading to improved performance.
Try these activation exercises
- Glute Bridges
- Active Squat Hold
- Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
- Good Mornings
Enhances Stability and Balance
Proper stability and balance are crucial for maintaining control and generating power during squats. A mobility routine before squatting helps identify and address mobility restrictions that may impact stability. By improving joint mobility and addressing muscle imbalances, you enhance your body’s ability to stabilize and maintain balance during squats. This leads to safer and more efficient movement patterns, reducing the risk of falls or injury.
Neglecting mobility before squatting can increase the risk of injuries. Tight muscles and limited range of motion place unnecessary stress on joints, leading to strain or even tears. By implementing a mobility routine, you can identify and address muscle imbalances, release tension, and reduce the risk of injuries. A few minutes dedicated to mobility can save you weeks or even months of downtime due to injury.
Incorporating a Mobility Routine
To incorporate a mobility routine before squatting, allocate 5-10 minutes for dynamic stretches and targeted mobility exercises. Focus on areas specific to your individual needs, such as hip openers, ankle and calf stretches, deep squats, and dynamic movements. Listen to your body and adjust the intensity and duration of the routine based on your comfort and mobility level. If you aren’t sure which areas to target, or where you have inefficiencies, you can book an intro with a coach.