by Greg Glassman
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The Squat Clinic, by Coach Greg Glassman, is a comprehensive guide to our most foundational movement. Photographs outline 23 points of performance for a sound squat, common faults and cues to correct them.
Why squat? The squat is a vital, natural, and functional component of your being. In the bottom position, the squat is nature’s intended sitting posture. Only in the industrialized world do we find the need for chairs, couches, benches, and stools. This comes at a loss of functionality that contributes immensely to decrepitude.
On the athletic front, the squat is the quintessential hip extension exercise, and hip extension is the foundation of all good human movement. Powerful, controlled hip extension is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athleticism. “Necessary” in that without powerful, controlled hip extension you are not functioning anywhere near your potential. “Sufficient” in the sense that everyone we’ve met with the capacity to explosively open the hip could also run, jump, throw, and punch with impressive force. Secondarily, but no less important, the squat is among those exercises eliciting a potent neuroendocrine response. This benefit is ample reason for an exercise’s inclusion in your regimen.
Weak glutes and hamstrings are among the causes of bad squats. So are poor engagement, weak control, or lack of awareness of the glutes and hamstrings.
Useful therapies for weak, underdeveloped and/or poorly executed squats are outlined as well. Box squats, squat therapy and the use of external objects (for spatial orientation) are helpful tools to get deconditioned and/or misinformed athletes squatting correctly.