By Shirley Estey, Registered Physiotherapist
For those of us who love the feeling of lifting weights and getting stronger barbell back squats are great for that. However, for many, as we load the amount of weight on the barbell we find limitations in our form which ultimately affects our ability to make regular progress and can lead to injuries.
To safely increase the amount, we can load and lift with our barbell squats we need to ensure we have optimal ankle knee and hip mobility to prevent excess use on our backs or lumbar spine compression.
Common Mobility Issues:
- Ankle Compensations (include turning the foot outward due to limitation in ankle dorsiflexion) – this can be corrected with your physiotherapist with manual therapy mobilization to the ankle joint.
- Knee Tracking of the Patella – decrease mobility to the patellofemoral joint can cause knee pain – your physiotherapist can release tight muscles around the knee cap and strengthen weak muscles
- Hip Flexion Limited – often as one tries to get deeper in their squat they find their hips feel stiff or stuck – your physiotherapist can perform hip mobilization to allow for increased mobility of the femur in the hip joint
In the end, a few simple mobilization techniques can allow you to improve your barbell squat.
If you are looking to improve your gym performance talk to one of your physiotherapists today.