The exercise that will increase your squat depth

Does the inside of your hips limit your squat depth?

We all know the importance of mobility and people are exceedingly mobile these days. Social mobility, financial, spatial, informational- you name it, but what about our joint mobility?

Too many people often ignore the importance of this aspect of physical fitness. We all know the importance of a warm up and mobilisation before beginning our training session, but too often we’re stuck for time and just get straight into it.

One of the most common mobility deficiencies is in the hips. As many of our jobs require us to sit in excess of 12 hours a day, our hip mobility can be impacted in two major ways. Firstly, through weakening the glutes and also through shortening the hip flexors. Both of which are the prime movers in hip activated movements.

We use our joints to perform a number of tasks, thus if these joint are going to be useful they need a full range of motion, particularly when performing large compound movements during training.

If your hips are always tight and restrict your range of movement, particularly when squatting, you should probably think about trying to open them up.

Now, try spending some time in this position (see image above) to open them up. It is one of the best and simplest exercises to open up the hip capsule.

How to do it:

You want to aim for about 2 minutes of time under tension (you can break this up if you need to)

1.You want to work towards getting your hips above your knees (90 degrees) whilst your body is almost fully flat (having your pelvis touching the floor)

2. Gravity is the basis of increasing the stretch, allow yourself to be passive within the movement and gravity will eventually increase your range of motion naturally

3. Start at a 7/10 pain intensity and hold until the pain reduces to 5/6. Then readjust your positioning to re find a 7/10 (A progressive overload technique)

4.Reach your arms out and stick your head through the shoulders, this increases your thoracic and overhead mobility.

5. This stretch is one of the best to open up your adductors, medial hamstrings, and hip flexors

6. Take your weight through your elbows to reduce the intensity of the stretch, if needed.

This stretch is truly one of the best to increase the depth of your squat and really open up the hip capsule.

By increasing hip mobility, it should eliminate lower back and/ or knee pain, improve your power output and improve your overall strength by allowing you to fully engage your posterior chain. This is particularly important in exercises such as squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and Olympic lifts; making your lifts safer and stronger!

Work capacity will increase allowing you to get closer to your overall goal, whether it is performance based or aesthetic based.


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