Stretches to help get deeper into squats?

Discussion in 'General Training' started by nislyj, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    Hey Everyone, first post here! This seems like a great community and I'm glad I found it.

    I've been watching a lot of videos on the technique behind the big compound movements in an effort to better educate myself, and one of the things I've realized is that I don't think I'm getting down low enough in my squats. I'm hitting parallel, but I don't think I'm getting anything below that.

    I'm keeping the weight manageable while I practice my form, but it feels like I just don't have the flexibility in the hips and ankles to really get down in there.

    Are there any specific stretches or exercises I can do to help improve that flexibility?
  2. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Try deep squats with no bar, and touch the floor while you stretch the hips and ankles.
    Also, general hamstring and hip stretches are useful.
  3. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    Thanks, Sci! I started working those into my warm up just this morning.
  4. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    To further what Sci said, just drop down into a squat as low as you can. No bar or anything in your hands. Try and imagine you're 'folding' your legs together like a piece of fold up furniture etc. Your back shouldn't be doing the bending here, you're basically trying to force your butt to touch your lower calves/ankles. When I'm stretching like this, I sway a little at the bottom (totally controlled), just loosens everything up etc, gently rocking via the heels (although your feet are touching the ground). Nice and controlled. Just stay in that position for a while. Butterfly stretches are also v.good IMO.
  5. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    My youngest inherited retarded legs from her mom and couldn't squat down at all. We ended up getting her in physical therapy. One major stretch they did was to lay on the floor, keep one leg straight and flat on the floor, have a partner lift the other leg, keeping that one straight as well. Initially we thought it was her achilles tendons that were tight but turns out it was mostly hamstring tightness and somehow was translating down to there. There were other stretches as well, but for squatting I agree that stretching into a deep squat position without load (maybe working up to light loads) will work well. If I were in charge of your training, I would also get you doing romanian deadlifts with strict form, going as deep down as possible on the eccentric. RDLs help develop hamstring flexibility well in my experience.
  6. nislyj

    nislyj New Member

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  7. Tryingtologin

    Tryingtologin Member

    Over at the Crossfit community, Rippetoe is like a demi God. He helped instructing the main lifts very early on in CF. From my understanding, he knows his stuff.
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2014
  9. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Found this one too:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2014
  10. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    And finally, another helpful loaded stretch includes the use of a loaded bar across the knees in the bottom position of the squat. This will improve ankle flexibility over time.

    Also, if you don't know what goblet squats are, check them out too. I use a medicine ball to do mine.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2014
  11. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Loaded bar resting on the legs/knees makes the baller in me want to kill myself ... that's actually safe?? :p
  12. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Safe? Who said anything about it being safe? Dammit, Alex, we're trying to improve our squat flexibility! :D


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