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Have You Ever Wondered Why It Hurts To Squat?

November 14, 20234 min read

It’s #squatober here at BFP so this blog, we are going to focus on the squat! This will be a practical approach. We won’t dive terribly deep into the X’s and O’s of the squat but we will go into a few details that should matter to us all! Not to mention, if you don’t like to read, we have videos as well!

Let’s start with a story. In my teens and in my early twenties, if I tried to squat down low with just my bodyweight, I’d look like this:

Pretty much like a turtle…….in my twenties……and my teens as well. Now I am 37 years old, and my squat looks more like this:

There isn’t anything crazy happening in this picture. In fact, the weight isn’t heavy at all. However, notice the significant difference in the curvature of my back, shoe choice, hand placement (although they shouldn’t be open ideally), and the chest is as vertical as my mobility allows (you don’t have to be totally upright for a great squat).


So, what did I do? How do I squat more effectively in my late 30s than I did in my early twenties? I scaled back the weight and my pride. I read several books. That’s right, books. Not Instagram or YouTube. I began to pay attention to some of the smaller details that I never considered before such as my big toe, how I placed my hands on the bar, and how I got setup to squat.


In this blog, I’m going to share some videos for you to watch where I go through each step of the process of developing a great squat. Before you watch these you need to understand, this takes time. A long time. At least it does if you tend to look more like a turtle when you squat with bodyweight. Also, everyone, for the most part, has subtle differences in anatomy of the hips, shoulders etc so, our approach here isn’t a one size fits all. In fact it’s a “find your own size”. But we use all the info we can to help determine that fit.


First, we need to setup the same way for a back squat or front squat or deadlift every single time. It’s similar to how baseball player might do all the same exact things before they step into a batter’s box. Or a dancer may perform the exact same moves before they go out on stage. It helps you move into the right mindset as well as set up for the safest lift:


Second, in order to enter the tunnel the same way every time as mentioned above, you need a plan. The next few videos are going to discuss the different aspects of that plan such as hand placement, bar placement, and hand grip. This next video focuses on hand placement:


Third, let’s look at your hand grip. You’d be surprised how much this matters as well and how often it isn’t considered.


Third, let’s talk about bar placement on your back. There are multiple ways to approach this and it can have a significant effect on how your squat ends up. Watch the video below as we examine 3 ways to place the bar on your back:


But wait??? What about your eyes? What about your neck?? Have you ever thought about these when you squat?


Now that you are entering the tunnel the same way every time, we can get more into what you do after that. First, let’s look at “creating a box” to keep you as supported as possible during your lift:


Finally, let’s talk about while you are squatting (although every video did mention this). When we squat, our goal is to use as much muscle as possible! The “knees out” cue helps us do this. Watch the video below:


Now, you’ve been armed with most of the info you need to to scale back the weight, and begin to re build your squat, 1 video at a time. Please, do not necessarily try to master all of this at once. Don’t load up a heavy bar and then try to do all of these. Scale back the weight, and work on 1 or 2 of these at a time.

If you’d like coaching on this from coaches who coach this every day, fill out the form on this page and reach out to us!


See ya soon and happy #squatober! Here’s a bonus video for you in helping you squat in the most effective way possible!


Coach Joe

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Breakaway Fitness & Performance

Breakaway Fitness & Performance focuses on strength training, weight loss, and a healthy lifestyle in their blogs.

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