The best exercise for athletes is the Squat! Every athlete should be squatting. I look around and their are a lot of talented athletes that neglect this lift. It it is the most functional and beneficial lift! I am going to list the reasons why you need to be squatting.
Benefit for Athletes that Squat
The benefits are huge for athletes that squat. The most important is STRENGTH. One of the most fundamental movements of athletes is being able to activate your glutes, quads, and your core. Adding weight to this movement will make you more powerful and explosive, which is the main goal of an athlete.
Movements like these will give you the ability to jump higher with more power.
What the research does show is that the Squat is effective and at preparing your body for sports that require power output, strength and speed.
It just so happens that the majority of sports require power, strength and speed.
How to Perform the Squat Effectively!
So many athletes are concerned about how much weight they can move that they end up forgetting the purpose of the lift. The purpose of the lift is get strong in full range of motion! You never want to sacrifice range of motion for strength, at least not athletes. I know from experience, shortening my squat gave me incredible knee pain and a lack of performance. So I decided to do something about it. I put my ego aside, and dropped the weight. It took me awhile to get back into the full range of motion, because of years and years of tightness built up in my hip flexors.
The picture to the side shows proper squat form.
- Neutral head alignment
- Lower back straight
- Chest up
- Weight evenly distributed with feet.
NOTE: Everyone will have slightly different squat forms, because they have different mobility restrictions. The most important thing to remember is to keep your spine in alignment. Do not look up and do not look down. Keep chest up. Go as low as you can while your lower back remains straight, the second your butt tucks, then you have gone too low. If your squat isn’t as low as you want it to be, then you will need to address the problem with mobility drills.
This is a video of me performing the squat! Head is looking up just a little bit, and there is a little bit of mobility restriction at the bottom of my squat. It just means I have something to work on to becoming a better athlete.
I just started squatting religiously for the past 2 years and I have noticed major changes in my athleticism and strength. I highly recommend that all athletes squat and I truly believe it is the best exercise! It is important, however, to stay injury free. If you are going to squat, then do it with proper form. I cannot stress that enough. I hope this post helps you guys out!
If you have any questions or concerns, then please drop them in the comment section below