Fitness, as with most things in life, starts with the construction of a solid foundation. Here in The PIT, we work with a wide variety of talented athletes, each with their own specific end goals. What is similar in their pursuits is the necessity for increased strength, stability and power output. This need is where the proper development of the squat pattern comes into play.
As humans we are naturally born to squat, as evidenced by a toddler’s ability to drop into a perfect squat position without hesitation. Unfortunately, the use of chairs/sofas/stools/etc. seen in most Western cultures slowly diminishes this squatting ability. Sitting for hours at a time wrecks our naturally inherited squat pattern.
Our job when working with athletes is to first restore that lost mobility, and then build strength and power in the proper positions.
Before getting into the ‘how’ of proper squatting, it’s important to understand the ‘why.’ The squat and its many weighted progressions and variations are the biggest and best tools in developing the strength and power of an athlete. The muscle groups used possess the greatest potential for both strength and hypertrophy gains, and the movement itself stimulates the largest release of growth hormones among all other lifts. It is therefore imperative that as coaches and athletes, we give squatting a prominent focus as there is a fairly direct correlation between increased squatting strength and maximal power output.
Stay tuned for the next blog Building the Foundation Part II: How We Squat.