Okay before we go anywhere today I want you to stop for just a minute and do a little honest reflection.
We are really close to the end of the programme and, hopefully all of you have made great progress with your squat technique. I know that several of you have because I have seen the evidence of it in videos and photos and you have told me in messages. That’s really great and, y’know, the whole point of the exercise.
However, I have also heard from some of you that your knees are still coming way forward as you descend, and I have seen pictures from some of you that look like you are trying to form the letter Z in a physical alphabet game. That’s not good and not right.
It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means you are doing bad skwaats. I find myself doing it sometimes and have to go back to the original cues to correct it. What we don’t want to do is carry on with flawed technique just doing more and more repetitions and drilling the wrong move into muscle memory. So before we go any further, I want you to have another look at yesterday’s squat video and have a real cold critical look at what is happening with your form. If you have erased yesterday’s video (or, Heaven forfend, didn’t actually do that bit!) then do a set now and film it. In fact do two sets, one from a front or 3/4 front angle and one sideways on. And then
“you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I squat with knees over toes?’ Well do ya, punk?”
If you do, and you hinge at the hip and your spine is neutral and head straight, then great. continue as normal. If you don’t, then let’s do something about it: go back and do a couple of sets of box squats to regrain (reingrain? regranulate?) the ‘sitting back’ thought. Do a couple of sets of doorknob squats, or (Gods no!) wall-facing squats. It’s not a regression. you are not ‘going backwards’. All of these squat variants are worthwhile exercises in their own right and even elite athletes mix them up all the time to finesse or improve whatever their goal is at the time. Do the skwaats that give you the most benefit.
Remedial work aside, same drill as before: 40 squats in sets. Try varying tempo if you feel like it: do a regular set then a slow set, or a regular set then a set with a longer pause at the bottom. Plus another 40 (or more if you feel so inclined) spaced out through the day. I am assuming that you all assumed that I was going to say this and have got a headstart on doing those, despite my later posting. In which case good. Try and keep that as just a daily habit, even without me kicking your collective ass. If you didn’t, and for some misguided reason assumed I was going to go easy on all y’all today, well… uhh, no. You have some catching up to do.