Fool Proof Method For Developing Great Technique in the Squat

Posted On August 15, 2019

I had thought of calling this a technique to get “perfect form” but decided there was no such thing as “perfect” form for any lift. We just try to get as close as possible to perfection.

This is a drill you can do 2-3 times a week as part of your warmups. It is called the wall squat.  It is one of the most painless ways I know of to help you get close to ideal squatting technique.

When I use the term, wall squat most lifters probably have an image of a trembling beginner pushing an inflated ball against the wall while holding an isometric half squat. As you will see, the wall squat version below is very different.

I got this idea from the legendary Russian kettlebell guru Pavel.  As many of you know, he is also an expert on power training.

This drill is done without any weight.   When you perform this drill regularly you create the pathways in your brain that help you to develop perfect squatting technique.

Begin by facing the wall, with your feet in squatting position, and your toes touching the wall.  Hold your hands down in front of you.  Your face will be against the wall.  Now, descend to a point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.  Then descend into a position where you are below parallel.

The first time they try the wall squat, most people will lose their balance or fall away from the wall.  Don’t worry about that.  Keep working on the drill until you can easily do five reps with proper form to full depth.  This is the exact technique you should use to do barbell squats. 

One of the first things you will discover is that you must spread your knees as you descend.  This is what you should be doing, since it is going to activate the big muscles in your glutes and hamstrings for a push out of the bottom.    You will also find that you must keep your shins almost vertical do a proper descent.  This again is the technique you want with a bar on your back. 

Working against the wall you must keep your head up, chest up, and your back flat.  Rather than roll your knees forward to do a squat, you stick your rear end back like you were sitting down.  The position against the wall forces you to do exactly what you should be doing.  

Squatting against the wall forces you to eliminate a lot of bad habits. 

When you have mastered hands in front version of the wall squat, you can make it more difficult by putting an unweighted bar or PVC pipe across your shoulders and doing the movement. 

Each time you do this drill, do it a minimum of 5 perfect reps.  If you flop around, or can’t keep your balance, that does not count as a perfect rep.  You may do 5 perfect reps in 5 attempts, or in 15. Only the perfect one’s count.

Since this is a movement that is designed to train your brain how to do a complex movement, a lot of repetition is essential.  Think of it as like learning a complex gymnastics movement.  Doing it 2-3 times a week over weeks, months or longer you will develop a powerful habit that puts your body on auto pilot for doing a perfect squat.

Since this is a movement that is designed to train your brain how to do a complex movement, a lot of repetition is essential.  Think of it as like learning a complex gymnastics movement.  Doing it 2-3 times a week over weeks, months or longer you will develop a powerful habit that puts your body on auto pilot for doing a perfect squat.

                                

This drill is that you can work on it as part of your warmups or at any point in your workout where you might want to correct your technique.  It is an easy thing to add to your repertoire.

Written by Richard

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