The Squat Bible w/ Dr. Aaron Horschig
Dr. Aaron Horschig uses the squat as a vehicle to empower people. He helps others decrease their aches & pains, improve their athletic performance, and find their TRUE STRENGTH.
You may know him as the author of The Squat Bible or in some way have interacted with his lecture hall, Squat University.
Aaron is a physical therapist, strength & conditioning coach, speaker, and writer. He has worked with a diverse variety of athletes ranging from Olympic Weightlifters, powerlifters, CrossFitters, international level soccer players, MLB and NFL athletes.
Today we deep dive into the Squat to talk about the intricacies of this movement and how you can express your full potential.
(4:30) - Using the Squat as a vehicle to empowering people
(9:30) - Intricacies of movement
(11:52) - Squat looks good to the common eye -- but still experiencing aches & pains
(13:58) - Why everyone should be able to do a pistol squat
(23:30) - Spending 10 minutes every day in the squat to improve your rock bottom
(30:39) - Pinching in the hip during your squat
(35:30) - Stability and Coordination
(38:00) - Expressing mobility beyond your workout
(39:30) - Coordination = Timing
(43:00) - How to neurologically recruit more musculature
(45:15) - Why you need hip internal rotation to squat
(52:00) - Barefoot squatting
(54:10) - Knee sleeves
(57:55) - Morning routine
(1:01:00) - The Squat Bible
(1:05:00) - Breathing and Belts
Resources we may have talked about:
Q&A w/ Dr. Aaron Horschig (when Airborne Mind first began)
Hook Grip Sleeves
Tommy Kono Bands
Becoming A Supple Leopard
How you can connect with Aaron:
Hi, this is Dr. Erin horseshit, and you're listening to the airborne mind show.
Misbah Haque here. Thank you so much for joining me today and welcome back to the show. So before we get started, if you've been enjoying these episodes, please, please do me a favor and head over to iTunes to leave a five-star review. So, I mean, it's one of the greatest compliments you can give. If you can, let me know what you think, whether it's good or bad, you know what you've been enjoying, where we can improve. Don't hesitate to let me know. And obviously, it helps me out with rankings helps me out with getting more interesting people on the show and you know, help spread the message. So do me a favor head over to iTunes and let me know what you think. The other thing I would love to point you to is the home base, the airborne mind.com. So not only can you check out the full show notes there as well.
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So today my guest is Dr. Aaron Horshack from squat university. And this episode's exciting for me because about, let's see, 15 or 16 months ago when I first started airborne mine. And it was just a blog. I reached out to Aaron to do a Q and a written-styled interview. And I'm just, I'm taking a look at that right now. And it's just cool to see you know, the quality of questions. I've been able to ask, have definitely improved over time. And I really like Aaron because if you've ever visited either his site or his Instagram page he's able to be very technical, but very simple at the same time, he's obviously a very smart dude. He's a physical therapist, strength and conditioning coach, speaker, and writer. He actually just came out with the squat Bible, which released the day of this conversation.
And he now works at boost physical therapy and sports performance in Kansas city, Missouri. His past patients have included professional football players from the NFL CFL minor league baseball players, European professional basketball players, Olympic weightlifters, numerous NCAA division one and two athletes, international level youth soccer players, CrossFit athletes, and numerous athletes in a variety of sports. So his background includes being involved in the sport of Olympic weightlifting as an athlete and a coach for over the past decade. So this was just such a fun conversation for me. And Oh, just a heads up. So I actually, I think a power line must have gone out or something, but the wifi went down and we just disconnected in the middle of our conversation and that's never actually happened before. So didn't really know what to do, but thankfully he was a good sport about it and I was able to call him back about an hour later and continue the conversation.
So in the middle here what I'll do is I'll plug in a little note when that happens, so you don't feel lost. But yeah, just to give you a heads up that happened, not too big of a deal with that being said, please enjoy the show. And more importantly, I hope you do something with it. Aaron, welcome to the show, man. Hey, I'm honored to be on. Yeah, I'm a, I'm a huge fan. I mean, I follow your Instagram page and there's a host of different cues and concepts and light bulb moments that have happened for me. You know, just kind of keeping up with you. And we actually did a short Q and a that I'm going to link up in the show notes later. We did this about a year ago and where we just kind of, I think you were just starting out SWAT university and whatnot. So it's been very cool to see all the people that you've been able to help since then.
Yeah, it's, it's been a really crazy path. I mean, I opened up a squat university in October 2015 and it's really taken off and it's been amazing to come and contact and help so many people cause you know, really my goal is to really empower every single person I come in contact with. And it's really been crazy to see just how everything has exploded since then.
Yeah. So it sounds like the squat is kind of a vehicle for you to be able to do a lot of that. So I'm curious, like there has to be some type of obsession with the squad, right? Want to talk about it so much, right. What is it about the squat versus maybe like the deadlift or the push press or why did you choose a squat versus maybe any other movement?
Definitely. And that's a great question that a lot of people have, and this is usually the story that I come up with is as a physical therapist, while I'm going through my evaluation process with a new patient when they come in, I was seeing this common trend over and over again. And it didn't matter if it was a, you know, 16-year-old soccer player, it wasn't an elite NFL running back. It was, you know, grandma that's got knee pain. I was seeing these people that were having pain at some part of their body in, during the evaluation process. There's a time where I'm actually looking at their movement and I say, all right, you know, I want to see walk, show me just, you know, regular bodyweight squat. And there was this trend that people were unable to perform the most simple movement of a bodyweight squat, you know, and I think it's, it really shows that as a society we've re-evaluated and almost changed our, our are basically our priorities, right?
So where are we and exercise, and it's not actually something that you focus on as a bodyweight movement often throughout the day. So we only think about moving big weight. If you Googled the squad, right? You see a ton of huge, you know, weight move. You think of Ray Williams squatting 1,005 pounds raw. It's freaking crazy, but we don't see, you know, how often can you think of any of your parents sitting in a deep squat then throughout that, you know, so as a child growing up, your only thought of seeing the squat is moving big weights. So on that, whenever we can rearrange those priorities back to where we're, you know, seeing the squad as a movement first, it changes everything in more so than any other fundamental movement or exercise. Whenever you can perform a good bodyweight squat asked to grass all the way down, it really changes things because it, I think the squat sets the foundation for everything else that we do or many other things that we do.
If you think about it from an exercise perspective, when you go to the gym, if you were doing cleans or snatches, all of those have their basis in a squad. Obviously, the squad as an exercise has its foundation as the movement first, but there's so many other things. When you're jumping in landing on a box, we're doing a box jump. You know, if you're running and cutting, you know, when you cut that, that small drop, that's a single leg squat that you're using to be able to set the, the fundamental, you know, movement foundation to be able to do that extremely dynamic movement. So I think the big thing that I sort of had this light bulb moment was we have rearranged our athletic priorities to such an extent that we are doing two things. First we're inviting injury into the picture. So I was seeing all these people that were sustaining these injuries because they're not grasping basically the concept of move well first and then move big weight.
And then I think that we're also limiting the potential for what's possible athletic performance-wise. And what I mean by that is your movement foundation allows you to increase your potential for what's possible. So if you move really well, you have the potential because your tech, you know, your technique, so good, you're moving mechanically. You can move more weight than if you weren't moving very well. Obviously that's a very general statement, but what I find is that when you start to improve the way you move, you think about it, technique first, you can go much further and you're going to do so much safer you know, from that perspective. So that was sort of the light bulb aha moment. And I just sort of took it and ran with it. And since then, it's been a mission to try to get out to as many people as possible, Hey, let's fix our movement. Let's look, you know, technique first big weight, but let's do it in the right perspective.
I absolutely agree with you because I think what happened maybe on a macro level is that when we started to think of the squat, as something like, okay, the standard for the squat hips below parallel, keep your chest up, don't let the knees come in. And we just kind of rush people through this movement, right? Like when somebody comes into a CrossFit gym and we're like, all right, cool. You can go down up and we don't necessarily lose the value of maybe the intricacies of the movement. Right. So now what happens is like, all you're thinking about is just, okay, I gotta be able to go down and up and I'm good. But maybe the little things that, you know, you're able to dig into, like, okay, being able to keep big toe pinky toe heel on the floor, or being able to actually feel what it's like to externally rotate, all of that is kind of lost. And maybe I feel like it's coming back now. What do you think? Do you think that we're starting to value the quality of movement a little more?
I definitely think so. I'm seeing more and more people, you know, share tidbits of information in the awesome thing that I love seeing is sort of the community of people that are on sort of squat university messages, and why not. So if I put a post up on Instagram and those there'll be people that'll be commenting, you know, Hey, I'm having this problem too. And there'll be someone else. That'll comment back to them, Hey, you know, work on this, use this queue. And I'm like, that's something that I say or, I mean, a lot of stuff that I'm saying it's not the first time it's been said, I'm not giving amazing groundbreaking stuff. I'm just sort of formatting it in the most simple way possible. And I'm giving it to you all at one time under the application of the squat. So, you know, you're seeing people that are, are understanding the intricacies, but we're explaining it in the most simple way possible.
And eventually people, it becomes second nature to people, to, you know, when they walk out a squat, their foot's in a nice stable position, you know, and then all of a sudden from there on out, you know, maybe they're not having that back pain because they're understanding, Hey, I got to engage my hips first. I need to make sure my knees aren't jamming forward and collapsing inwards. And all of a sudden we're starting to see more and more people, which is the goal squat, more weight, safer, awesome technique. And it just spreads from there, like wild.
Absolutely. so I want to give you maybe an example of an athlete I'm thinking about right now at my gym who, and maybe there's a couple that can be into this category, but to the common eye, they look like they're good, right? Like their squad is decent. They can go down and up. They can go ask to grasp, they are lifting decent weight, but they still have maybe knee pain. Right. And let's say they're 30 years old. And they kind of point to just maybe, okay, well, I've beaten up my body when I was younger as an athlete. And this is just kind of how it is. Right. I gotta grind through some of these aches and pains. It's it may not be so bad that they're like, Oh my gosh, I got to go get looked at by a practitioner and get this taken care of, but they've almost accepted it as a part of, you know, daily life. So I'm curious, like how do you what are your thoughts with dealing with somebody like that? Who is in a sense kind of experience and, and is good in terms of like, just being able to check the boxes, but that pain and aches and pains are still kind of present.
Definitely. I'll say this pain is not something that is normal for your body now, for some people, if they let's say they had, you know, a career in the NFL where they've played 15 years and their bodies just beat to hell. Obviously, there are going to be exceptions to the rule where we can't backtrack necessarily all the way and take away years and years of damage. But to the extent where people just sort of give up in their, like they think pain is normal part of life. I don't accept that. You know, and what I always say to that is there's got to be more to that. Let's, let's look into this more in the most simple way of understanding of whether or not this is something that can be modified or yes, it is something your body is just beaten up. And unfortunately, this is part of your life, which in many cases is not the full answer.
For example, someone who shows an amazing squat and usually in a double like stance, they can squat good weight, but they're still having pain, especially in the knees. What do you do? The first I do is AI, get them out of their weightlifting shoes if they are wearing them. And I'm going to screen their body with a single-leg squat. Now, a lot of people look at that and they go, well, I'm not a CrossFitter, I don't need to do pistol squats, every single person, regardless of who you are, should have the ability to perform a good single-leg squat. Now, some people, this is going to be a pistol squat. Some people I've worked with an NFL lineman before. I don't expect him to be able to go ask the grass. I do expect him to be able to do an eight inch box touchdown excursion.
So that means standing on an eight-inch box and doing a good single, like squat tap his heel to the ground, and all the way back up. And what I find is that a lot of people who have knee pain who are unable to do a single leg squat, there's your cue. It all comes down to movement. So sometimes it just takes a little bit of changing it up as far as your screening process, to illuminate where the problem is. Maybe it's not in the double leg squat. Maybe they show pretty good movement quality and the double leg squat, but the squat is also a single leg movement as well. So sometimes exposing it with the single leg is a lot, you know, allowing us to then take that and then fix that problem, whether it be coordination, strength, balance, to really find what's possible as far as, you know, changing up that person's symptoms.
So when you're taking a look at the single-leg squat what are some areas in terms of screening that are, you know, standing out to you? What are you looking?
For? Sure. The first thing I'm looking for is what joint moves first in what I've noticed is a lot of people they're very good at maybe starting with the hips in a double leg squat and what I mean by that is a small hip hinge. But as soon as it goes to a single-leg squat, they forget how to do that. So as soon as they start their descent, their need jams for it instantly. And what that's going to do is show me two things. First. It puts a lot of sheer force on the knee early on, which can aggravate some different things. And second, it's showing me that their coordination and balance is a little off because just like in the double X squat, we want every descent to start with the hips. Now, to the extent of what that is, is all determined on your anatomy, your mobility, and the type of squat you're doing.
So if it's a low bar back squat, which is pretty common to powerlifters, you're going to be taking a little bit bigger hip hinge. And what that's going to do is it's going to engage the glutes, the posterior chain, the strongest muscles of your body, but it's also going to keep the bar balanced over the middle of your foot, which is what every squat requires in order to produce efficient force and power with a front squat. If we take that huge hip hinge like we did with the low bar back squat, that chest is going to fall so far forward, the bar is going to roll right off your chest. So obviously we can't take a huge hip hinge, but we still want to start with the hips. So the hips are going to engage extremely slightly back. And then you're going to sit that butts straight down.
So in doing so you still engage the glutes, you limit that premature forward movement of the knee, which is going to limit that amount of sheer force on the knee early on. And it's going to keep your body in balance. So the same thing applies to a bodyweight, single-leg squat, except obviously with the body weight, single-leg squat, because we don't have a Barner back are the only determinant for as for how big that hip hinge is going to be is going to be on your mobility in your anatomy. For some people it's going to require a big hip hinge for some, it's going to require a little smaller one, and you'll be able to sit up, right? If you Google pistol squat, and then click on images, you'll see a couple of different images. And there's always one there's of a man, his shirts off he's wearing like black pants.
And he is sitting in an awesome pistol squat, like all the way down. And his chest is fairly upright. His body allows him to do that. He's got amazing ankle mobility and his proportions, as far as his femur length, his torso length is allowing him to sit very upright in that squat. However many people can not do that. They don't have amazing ankle mobility and B their body morphology their femur length torso length, tibia length. Doesn't allow for that. So it's during a single leg squat to have a very inclined chest and that's normal to do so. So the first thing I'm looking for is the quality of their movement and engaging those hips and staying balanced. The second thing I'm looking for is what's happening to that knee. As far as the side-to-side movement, ideally, that needs to stay in direct alignment with the foot the entire time.
This is pretty commonplace, or it should be for most people when they're screening the squat. However, what you'll find is that a lot of times these people that have knee pain, but don't show any problems in a double leg squat, when it comes to this single leg squat, they can't show that great quality again, that knee likes to wave around. And a lot of times it likes to dip right in. So I'm looking for where's that knee going, and then we're seeing where's the problem at, is it a foot stability issue? You know, is it a mobility issue? That's where we sort of break the body down from there to expose what are the weak links that we then need to work on? So it's always a movement-first perspective in screaming to discover, well, where's my problem at then from there. And once we find our problem, which a lot of times for the person that you're describing is not going to be found until we break down their single leg squat, then we find out where's the weak links. Is it mobility? Is it coordination, stability? Is it both? And then how do we fix those.
Now? Would you say, is it okay in a single leg squat to have that, you know, that when you look at maybe the hips and the glutes that rounded, but wink type of motion because somebody might be able to maintain that during the double leg squat, but when the, you take them to the pistol, you know, now we've got a significant rounding of the back. But maybe you're still braced. I dunno. Would you say, is that okay? What should we be looking at there?
Definitely. That's a great question. It is completely fine to do that. Now. Here's the thing with that. So that would be considered that button wink that a lot of people will instantly go. That's horrible. That's the worst thing in the world is going to cause you a, you know a herniated disc, well, let's talk about this. So first off, what is the butt wink? It's that excessive pelvic movement where the pelvis is being pulled under the body. And what that does is when it's excessive, it causes the lumbar spine. So the low back is going to also bend as well. So there's a direct relationship between the pelvis and the low back. Well, if the low back is extremely flexed over time with many repetitions and with enough load down through the back, it can theoretically create a bulging disc. So there's two things that we have to look for now with a barbell squat.
We obviously have a lot of load through the spine. So if we have excessive, but wink with a body or with a barbell squat, you're going to reach that theoretical end range breaking point sooner, because you've got a lot of load through the low back and a lot of, you know, excessive lumbar fluxion, however, with a bodyweight squat, there's no load going through the low back, very minimal, obviously just gravity pulling down, but you still have a little bit of that. The flection. So we have that as well. So if I'm looking at a pistol squat now, me personally when I go into a bodyweight squat, you know, if I'm sitting down there and just relaxing, there's a little bit of bubbling and I'm sitting down there relaxing. It's not a big deal. If you look up Google again, like I say, third world squat, right?
You're going to see people from all over the world that are just sitting in the bottom of a deep squat, and guess what some of them have winked and I'm sure none of them are having back pain right now. So it's not the worst thing in the world to show that with a body weight squat, that's going to be normal for some people's anatomy. Now with a pistol squat, that's sometimes going to be exemplified or amplified, I guess, even more because of the demands on the body. So because you have to have that much more ankle mobility in order to go that deep. Sometimes it's going to create a little bit more bend in that low back, a little bit more flex. So that butt wink and sort of rounding and a low back can become a little bit more pronounced in the bottom of a single-leg pistol squat.
Now, again, bodyweight squats, not that big of a deal, in my opinion, it's been way more blown out of proportion than most people realize. However, here's where we come into the thing where we're, you know, it's, I don't like making vast generalized, you know, recommendations where, Hey, it's never going to be a problem. For example, in the sport of CrossFit, it is common to hear people go well, I had a wad, right? Had 300 pistol squats or something crazy like that. Do you know? Well, obviously we're thinking of the load frequency, you know, timetable, I guess we'll say until basic glee, your disc has that theoretical end range where an injury is possible. Well, if you're going as to grass on a pistol squat, you're seeing a little bit about wink. If you're doing a couple reps a day, it's not going to be a problem.
If you're doing 300 reps in a row and you've got that, but wink while the load is not very high, the frequency of movement is very high. So theoretically you're edging towards that, you know, end range possibility for that disc staying healthy. So, you know, that's why, again, I don't like making completely generalized statements saying it's never going to be a problem because there will be those people that do take things to the end range, the type of movement that they're doing. But most people, if you're sitting in the bottom of a D B pistol steps every day, working on your single leg dynamic and you control, and you have a little bit of, but wink rounding in the low back, I don't believe it's as big of a deal as many people have made it out to be, especially if you're also complementing that with good core stability throughout the rest of your day in doing other things that are making sure that your bodies.
Okay, now I'm a huge fan of what you just said there spending time in the bottom of the squat, right? So being able to tinker with your limitations, like, okay, what joint am I actually limited at? You know, adding foam, rolling, and bands and balls in there is great, but at the end of the day, got to come back to the actual full squat. So I'm thinking about a person right now who you know, let's say that they do overhead squats, right? They don't feel comfortable. Like they go super, super slow on the way down, or maybe a snatch, same thing, super, super slow on the way down, because that confidence is not there. You haven't built up enough time in the bottom of that squat. When I think of like rock bottom, should the person who maybe, you know, they get to about hips around parallel, right. But then after that things kind of start to break down, is there rock bottom that position there? Or is there rock bottom all the way down? And should we be in a bodyweight squat just kind of hanging out and mobilizing in that deep position?
Definitely, I'll say this everyone's depth is going to be a little bit different based on a number of different things. First is mobility profile. So everyone's got a different little level of mobility. For example, let's say you have a 32 year old named Joe. Joe works at the office all day long, where he sits down. You know, and maybe it was an athlete earlier in life, but now he just has a pretty sedentary lifestyle. His mobility is going to be very different than 16-year-old Johnny who is just floppy as hell. You know, like they're gonna be very different people. So when we look at the mobility, you know, someone's a rock bottom may be a little bit different right now, the only way to figure out how to make that improved is to go through testing and see, you know, is it actually something soft tissue wise that we can mobilize and whatnot.
That being said, I think every single person should spend at least 10 minutes every single day in the bottom of a deep squat accumulated throughout the day. Not all at one time. This, this is something that I was first turned on to by Kelly star out of mobility wad. His very first MobilityWOD video was how, you know, the 10 minutes squad tests. Can you accumulate 10 minutes? It's the mob deep squad during the day in a lot of people, this is sort of mind-blowing. They don't really understand, well, I don't sit in the bottom of the deep squat. Maybe I do a little bit when I'm warming up for my workout, but that's about it. I don't do it throughout the day. And then you wonder why it's so difficult for you to catch a snatch and just feel comfortable down there. You know, what I find is that, you know, the squad is not something you just do during your workout.
Mobility is not something you just do 10 minutes prior to your workout, 15 minutes after little stretching, and then you're done, you know, if you want to really find out what is truly potential with your movement, quality, with, you know, yourself athletically, you need to take mobility and specifically the fundamental movement of the squat as a bodyweight movement seriously, and do it often throughout your day. So we talked about mobility is one big factor. So that's, you know, there's different tests that you can do that I share as far as finding out if it's a, you know, a joint restriction, a soft tissue restriction but then you also have to consider someone's anatomy. So for example, there's some people that have very deep hip sockets versus people who have very shallow hip sockets. And those people are going to have sort of a different level of hip flection, which is the movement of going down into the squat, your knees coming closer to your chest.
They're going to have different levels of what is end range. So if you look at some people, like a lot of people like to point towards these the Chinese lifters weightlifters that are just, I mean, they're sitting to grass in the bottom of a perfect squat and their, you know, their their torsos extremely upright, well, their bodies, you know, as a whole are built for that, these guys are, you know, five, six max and they're torso to femur length. They're very, you know specific for excelling in the sport. You take the same, you know, type of movement. And you ask a kid who's six, seven, and you know, has a very different ethnic background. And as far as you know, how their bodies are naturally built, and you ask him to do the same thing, he's not going to be able to nearly look at that, you know, but his body is sort of built to run and junk.
So everyone, you know, you have to take in the background of, you know, how their bodies and bone structures have developed. Definitely to that last thing you definitely need to take into account as injury history. So someone who has had, you know three fractured ankles or has, you know, a history their bottom is going to be maybe a little bit different based on that as well. So that's where as a coach understanding all the different things that come into play is huge and understanding whether or not this is, this person's bottom, right? This person's bottom for good, or, you know, if, if there's a lot of room that we can play around with.
Yeah. And, and the one thing you said about the Chinese lifters, the other thing with that is you know, they are scouted from a very, very young age, right? Like from the age of seven, eight years old, you're, you know, they're looking at how big their thumb is. Is it going to be able to go around the bar and hook grip? And I heard this with ya'll Ming, like he never really loved basketball until the age of 18. It was because of his height. And because of what he was kind of meant to do, he was put into a specific sports school for basketball because that's where he was going to Excel. And they kind of do the same thing with weightlifting as well. So there's so much more planning than kind of what we see right off the bat.
One of the worst things, or one of the things that bug me the most is when people will comment under something and they'll go, well, these Chinese lifters do this. Or, you know you know, or as far as maybe the knees coming in a little bit, and I try to tell as many people, a lot of times I just leave it go. These lifters have been chosen from the youngest age. They are the most elite. There are millions of people in the Chinese weightlifting Federation, and these are the top ones. So their bodies are able to handle a little bit of a poor movement and get away with it and, and Excel and lift 200 kilos the head because they, you know, just selection of how they find their most elite athletes. They've got a billion of them. If you think about basketball players in America, there are millions of kids who play basketball. Think about that the same way over in China. There are millions of kids who come up start weightlifting. So it's easy to understand why they have excelled so much as a country in finding the most elite athletes in that aspect.
Hey, I'm back. So this is exactly where we kinda cut off and yeah, Wi-Fi was gone. Power was out for about an hour. So let me link upright. As soon as we kind of reconnected and were able to move on with the conversation, here we go, all right, we are back. So I lost power there. So my wifi went out and the call completely dropped, but we are back. And I think where we left off as you know finding your rock bottom, right. We just kind of concluded that. So I want to give you maybe a third athlete or third type of situation. Somebody who has been maybe endlessly mobilizing, right? They've been on the foam roller. They've been doing a ton of soft tissue work. Maybe they've gotten looked at by chiropractors and different practitioners. But they, and maybe to the common, I like their squat looks pretty decent, but they're still experiencing some type of pinching in the hip, right? Maybe it's in the front of the hip. Maybe it's maybe the inner thigh or the groin area. How do you attack something like that? Where do you even begin?
Definitely. So there are a couple of different things that could be happening there. One of the first that comes to mind is called FAI or for moral acetabular impingement. And basically what this is simply put. If you look at the hip joint, it's sort of like a, there are a ball and a socket. And whenever the ball is moving in the socket in some people, depending on the size of their hip socket, that ball is going to hit the front of the hip socket earlier than others. Now, if they have a very deep hip socket, this is going to happen early on in the motion compared to someone who has a very shallow hip socket. So anatomy is huge in this. Now, whenever you go into a really deep squat, if you have that really deep hip squat, a hip socket, like we talked about that femur head is going to kick the front of the acetabulum.
So the ball's going to hit the end of the socket. And, and two things are going to happen. You're going to get a ton of that posterior tilt. So the butt wink is going to occur early, and it's a way to basically limit a pinching sensation from that hitting in the front of the socket, or number two will happen. And you'll actually get that pinching sensation. So the hips won't turn under as much, and you're going to get the front of the femurs going to kit the front of the hip socket basically. So that's that impingement-like pain. Now there's a couple of things that can cause this basically, it's not just the hip socket safe, but it's also we call this a cam or a pincer impingement. So basically the way the bones are formed in the body, if we don't want to get too into the anatomy of it we can't necessarily change how your bones are formed, but what we can do is try to give a little bit more mobility the way the body moves as far as the joint itself give a little bit more movement inside the joint itself.
So what we can do is abandoned joint mobilization to try to improve the hip socket mobility. Basically, give us a little bit more range of motion in there. So what will, we would first want to do an evaluation to see is this truly FAI? If it is, then we can do some banded joint mobilizations. I'll usually like a lateral banded joint mobilization or a posterior. And what that's going to do is just help us give a little bit more movement inside the joint itself, which then we test, we do the of joint mobilization. We retest it. We're able to see, did we create any change in allowing us to maybe get a little bit further in the movement without that pinching sensation for some people that can be a game-changer within a couple of weeks of doing that, they're not going to have that pinching sensation anymore.
For some people, we cannot change their hip anatomy to such a great extent. We're going to have to change their squat stance. Now for some people based on how their mobility is and how their anatomy set up. For example, if they have an anteversion or retroversion, which is basically meaning that their femur and their hip joint, the congruency is a little bit different from normal, the way you would look at a textbook they're going to have to change their squats scans to accommodate for that in order to feel comfortable and to not run into pain. What this means is they may have a little bit wider stance. They may have a little bit more of a narrow stance. They may have to turn their toes out slightly more than what most people would think is normal, and that's going to be normal for their body.
So, you know, as coaches, we always have these general recommendations set your feet about shoulder width, apart toes, relatively straight forward squad, all it all the way down. Well, for some people that doesn't work. So again, that's why I don't really like these generalized statements that everyone always has to be able to do this because there's always going to be those people that are outliers and what do they do. So, you know, really having a good person who understands screening is going to help you find the most efficient squat for your body, because in the end, we can do a lot for mobility, but sometimes, you know, we're going to always be beating our head against the wall. If we never really understand, Hey, maybe it's my anatomy. That's also at play and this is why I'm gonna have to change my squat. So for example I cannot personally do a very wide stance squat at all. If my feet are outside my shoulder with, I'm not going past parallel, or it's going to feel like my hips are breaking off, I have a very narrow squat for that reason. And it's just, you know, that's right for my anatomy. It wouldn't matter how much mobility work I do. I, my body anatomy will not allow me to squat with a really wide stance squat.
Gotcha. Okay. How about now, if we're thinking, like, when we're thinking about doing all these joint mobilizations, using bands and balls what is kind of the mindset behind that in terms of like a longer-lasting type of change? Because a lot of times, you know, we'll feel great, right? As soon as we, you know, do that the lateral distraction that you just talked about, for example, or the posterior, and you're like, wow, I feel like a million bucks. And then, you know, you go into your workout, you feel good, but then maybe right after the workout or the next day, it feels right back to where it is. So is there may be a certain timeframe or that we should be kind of hammering away at this stuff? Like what is the whole, the overlying underlying theory behind this.
For sure. So there are a couple of things that come into play. The first thing to understand is that it is not only about mobility and that's a huge thing because mobility is an easy keyword to throw out. And it's huge, you know, nowadays, especially with the rise of mobility, what not to anything that he's done wrong, because I love what Kelly start-up put-puts out, but it's not just mobility. You also have to take into consideration, stability and coordination. And if you're only doing mobility work, that's not the only reason why you developed this pinching sensation. There's also probably a coordination issue. So for example, you do that mobility work, you open up the joint, you then feel good. That's awesome. You're on the right path, but then you also have to understand, well, why did that joint become stiff in the first place? And if you never do any coordination work or strengthening the glutes, you know, doing different corrective exercises to get your body moving again, having that stability and mobility standpoint coming together, you're never going to fully grasp why the problem occurred.
So that's sort of the thing is a lot of times we treat the symptoms with mobility work. As far as let's say, you having, you're having some knee pain and you foam roll your quad. All of a sudden the knee pain goes away. Well, the reason you develop that knee pain is in part because the quad stiffness, but why was the quad stiffness there in the first place? A lot of times it's maybe you were moving too much from your knees or, or, you know, your hips weren't working in coordination. So it was causing the needs to be overloaded in a certain position. So you always have to take a step back and understand why something developed if you want to have lasting results. So that's one thing is adding in coordination and stability work. The second thing is making sure that you're expressing that new mobility more than just at your workout.
So a lot of people think, well, my mobility work, I do at 15 minutes prior to my workout, I do my workout. Maybe I do a little bit afterward, and then that's it. They don't do anything else throughout the rest of their day. So they're not expressing that full functional mobility that they just gained. So that's why I'm such a big fan of that sitting in a deep squat throughout the day, or getting in a deep lunge or things like that is because throughout your day, if you're not expressing that full functional mobility, what your body was designed to do, what you just improved that ability to get into with them mobility work. It's always going to start getting back to that original problem of being stiff and, and not moving correctly. So what you'll notice is that if you start doing your mobility work, you feel good during your workout.
And then every hour, every two hours, you set a reminder on your phone, Hey, sit in a deep squat for 30 seconds. All of a sudden those smaller issues during your warmups are not going to be as, as problematic for you. Maybe you don't need to do 30 minutes of mobility work of eventually you only need to do 15 because your body's already acclimated to moving a little bit better than it was once before when all you were doing was sitting for eight hours a day and then trying to go work out. So the big thing I always say is, you know, 15 minutes of mobility work and an hour workout, doesn't offset being completely sedentary and ignoring your body's capabilities for the other 12 hours that you're awake during the day.
I really like how you used the word coordination there. So, because this reminds me of a time where you know, there is this lifter who to the common eye, it looks like he was performing a perfect squat. It was catching the snatch, you know, perfectly in the bottom. But he said he was experiencing that pinching sensation as well. And pretty much all I really tweaked at that point was kind of teaching him how to screw his feet into the floor, like grabbing your, grabbing the floor with your feet. And I guess essentially what we're trying to do is externally rotate the femur. And he never, he never was explained that or taught that. And he never understood what it feels like to actually get into that position. And as soon as he started doing that it went away like he, he didn't experience it anymore. And I mean, to this day, he hasn't really mentioned anything about it. So when you think of coordination though what exactly, are there specific exercises that you're thinking of or are we, is it kind of along the lines of what I'm saying with taking it back to the squad and those little technical cues of understanding what it feels like?
Definitely. So coordination is simply timing. What muscles, what things are turning on in at what time, for example, I'll see, I see athletes all the time that are extremely strong in common sense. When you, when you go through physical therapy school, you're taught how to muscle test, manually muscle test and give a grade to how strong the muscle is. And it's on like a five-point scale. So if a muscle is five out of five, it means that it is extremely strong, it's working as it should. So a lot of times when people see someone whose knees collapse in during the squat, they instantly go, well, you know, it's in part due to your glute media strength, you know, the small muscle on the side of your hip. If it's not working, you know, very, very strong, the knee rolls in. Well, when you're working with elite athletes, they're not weak.
You know, I will take all these elite athletes who have knee collapse and I'll test their glute medius in the prescribed way that you're taught in physical therapy school. And it's five out of five. So a lot of people look at them and they go, well, what do I do? What's wrong? Well, it's not that it's, it's that it's not turning on at the right time. So for example, when you're talking about the screwing into the ground, people will use that cue or, you know, squeeze your glutes and then lift what they're doing is they're turning on those muscles that are priming the engine in, then they're moving. And what that does is it, it coordinates the body. Well, it turns on certain muscles at the right time. And what that allows your body to do moot well then is to move in the most mechanically efficient way.
So if I have someone, for example, doing the most simple movements, single leg squat, and first the thing I like doing is, is having them move poorly and then having the move correctly. So then they're able to understand what poor feels like. So then they can understand what good feels like afterward. So I'll have them get in a single leg stance and I'll say, move your knee forward first while you squat and let it cave in, in the instantly feel all the tension goes straight to the knee. And then I'll say getting that same single leg stance again. Now, before you even push your knee, you know, you know, down as you go into your squat, push your hip back and bring your chest forward, basically engage your glutes by hinging at the hip. And what do you feel instantly? After a couple of reps, they go, my butt muscles are on fire, and I'm saying, there you go. What you're doing is you're experiencing what happens when you coordinate your body properly and you engage, you turn those glute muscles on at the right time. It sets everything up to move in the most mechanically efficient places.
So, I mean, when we are doing, you know, a squat, maybe without even thinking about any of these things, right. We just think, okay, I'm just going to squat, right? It's not that our glutes are actually off like they're still engaged to an extent, right? But when we think about some of the things that we just chatted about, like, you know, excellently, rotating and squeezing your butt now is, is it just a mental thing that there's more awareness there now? Or are we physically actually recruiting and able to produce force a little bit more? Because we're thinking of it like that.
You're physically recruiting those muscles better. You're neurologically those muscles are getting turned on a little bit more. And there's another simple way to do this for anyone that's at home listening or is going to be getting out of their car. Soon. If they're listening to this car, get on the ground, get into a single leg stance like you would for a bridge, a one legs in the air, one leg on the ground and just pick your butt off the ground. What muscles do you feel working really hard when you do that? A lot of people will fill their hamstring cramp. They may feel their back aching a little bit. You should ideally feel your glutes working really hard. And what that's showing you is what are your go-to muscles for producing hip extension. Now, if your glutes burning really good, that means that your glutes are the first thing that you're calling on the most important muscle group.
That's what you should feel. Now, if you're feeling your hamstrings cramp or your back move, that means that you're, over-relying on those areas to produce that movement. The glutes are still working. They're not just turned off completely. You're a functioning human being. The only way for those muscles not to be turned on at all is if there was an actual spinal cord injury, those muscles are working, they're just not being utilized to what they should be. So that's sort of just an easy test to determine sort of what, what your go-to muscles are. And whenever you learn to turn certain muscles on at the right time, prime your engine correctly, you're turning those muscles on and it's going to basically recruit them to a greater extent neurologically.
Gotcha. Okay. Now we've talked about a little bit about external rotation and I saw this question on your Instagram page from somebody asking about hip internal rotation, right. And this is one of those things for me as well. Like I remember I was at a competition and I was just getting, you know, worked on before an event like 10, 15 minutes. And I always like doing that from time to time. Cause I love hearing everybody's different perspectives and where they're coming from and like just kind of, you know, using that to learn. And I remember somebody told me that I was lacking. Like I barely had any hip internal rotation on my left side. And so could you elaborate a little bit more on that? Like how does that come into play when it comes to squatting? Why do we need hip internal rotation?
For sure. So external rotation is obviously something that a lot of people first think of because they hear external rotation torque. Well, when you set up for squat in your foot, you know, should be naturally a little bit more straightforward. If your body bodyweight squatting, and I say, I want your feet straight forward. It doesn't mean exactly 100% straightforward. It means five to seven degrees of toe odd angle, which is your anatomically neutral position. Well, if your feet are in an anatomically neutral position, your body is in a certain amount of internal rotation by then bracing, you know, squeezing the ground in driving your knees out to the side, you then create external rotation torque. Now, if you're unable to even get your feet into a relatively straightforward position, your toes are already starting to spin out as you squat down because your body doesn't have internal rotation. It can only externally rotate. So basically the reason we need internal rotation is to maintain our feet in a good stable position during the squat. We need external rotation obviously to be able to create that torque. But if you don't have internal rotation, you can't maintain your good squat stance with your feet relatively straightforward, and your feet are going to always have to spin off into the position of least resistance, which is into your desired external rotation position because that's free of restriction. Does that make sense? Yeah.
So how do you kind of go about like, is there a couple exercises that come to mind for you that are really good for, you know, getting that range, getting internal rotation?
Definitely. So there's two big things. First is sort of stretching those internal rotators and a great way to do this is just laying on your back. Your feet are going to be wide, and then you're going to let one knee sort of cave in all the way down. And if you're doing it correctly, you'll feel sort of a light stretch in the outside part of your hip. We call it a w stretch. You can do both legs at the same time or one leg at a time. Now for some people, when they do this stretch, they'll actually get that pinching sensation in the hip. So that may even be an indicator. Hey, let's do this bandage joint mobilization. First that we talked about earlier in Vindu that stretch, or you may just have that type of anatomy where maybe we need to switch up the position a little bit, but the w internal rotation stretches great.
What I then like to also do is to make sure we're sort of priming our body to maintain that position. So we'll squat down into a deep bodyweight squat. Our feet are relatively straightforward. I'm then going to grab the ground, making sure my feet don't move and I'm going to squeeze my butt muscles and drive my knees out to the side. So I'm going to get into some externally you know, rotated torque positions. I'm going to squeeze those muscles, but I make sure that my feet stay straight forward. So I'm priming internal rotation positions with my, with my hips, but with an externally rotated torque. And that way, whenever you eventually sort of get your body into that squatted position, again, it's natural to be, you know, a little bit more insulated rotated or have that position available because you're priming that. Right.
Okay. Awesome. Now here's, here's a Q that really kind of stuck with me that I saw on your page as well. It was when you're coming out of the bottom of the squat shins back first as your hips are driving up. And this is one of those things that a lot of people don't think about, I guess, and when you're kind of watching people perform squats, when you're not doing that, when you're not initiating with the shins back, what's kind of going on there are we, are we putting a lot more pressure on our knees?
[Inaudible] Definitely Nate. And the thing is, I think this has been a little blown out of proportion by some people because they take the cue that you need to then bring your shins all the way back to a vertical position. If that's the case, and you're doing, let's say you're doing a front squat and you bring those shins all the way back to a vertical position, your body has no other place to go than to let that chest drop forward because your butt's going to shoot way far back. That's not the goal. The goal is to basically at the bottom of a deep squat, your knees are pretty far forward. If you drove straight up from that position, what usually happens is those knees are going to stay forward. And sometimes you can be a little bit more off balance. Your weight can sometimes shift towards your toes.
So what I like people to do is you're going to, you know, your glutes are going to be squeezed. You're going to drive your hips and chest up at the same time. But bringing those shins back just a little bit from that position can engage those glutes. And those hamstrings just sort of drive up that hip extension. It can sort of prime it out of the bottom just a little bit more. So for some people, it's a great cue. If they're very used to out of the bottom of the hole, staying in almost becoming a little, off-balance saying, Hey, pull your shins back a little bit. That can sometimes engage those glutes, the posterior chain to help them drive a little bit better out of the bottom and stay balanced. So again, it's a great cue. And if, if it worked for you, it's amazing. What I always like to tell coaches is individualized your cues because the same cue isn't right, for every single person for some people, if they're doing already a very good job of, of being bounced and they're sent, if you tell them maybe to pull their shins back even more, they may cause them to have too much poster hip drive on the ascent, and it's going to throw them off balance. So always individualize your cue to the movement problems that you see.
Awesome. And I guess it's also that synergy, right? It's not just shinning back, it's shinning back hips up at the same time. And some people are able to do that much more naturally. Like if you kind of watch somebody like Maddie Rogers, her coming out the bottom of a clean bottom snap, it just, you know, I doubt that she has ever really thought about something like that. It's just something that occurs for her, but you're right. So it's the coach being able to kind of identify what's going on and is this applicable? Exactly
Exactly. Yeah. And I have seen some people, like, obviously there's a big problem of, you know, people's chest falling forward in the hips rising up too quickly during the squat. But I also see people that send me videos where their hips are driving way too far back on the, on the side of the squad in there, you know, because they're pulling their shins back too much. So yeah, again, it all comes down to individualizing the cues to make sure that in the end, our goal is always perfecting the movement coordination. Okay
Awesome. So we've talked we touched a little bit on weightlifting shoes, right? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on like barefoot squatting. What are your thoughts on that?
Definitely. Well, at first I think squatting because we're coming at it from a movement first perspective, you know, barefoot squatting, as far as body weight is very, very important because it gets you out of your shoes, especially if throughout your day, you're wearing a tennis shoe that has a big old air bubble on the back, get out of those things in learning to be able to feel the ground in the squat, without your shoes on. Because a lot of times, especially if you have a shoe that has a fairly high elevated shoe, if you're used to using a running shoe, that's got like a, a 12 millimeter he'll drop you're sort of shortening your heel cord throughout the day and not utilizing your, your ankles as they were meant to be through a full range of motion. So I like to be barefoot as much as possible, especially when I'm home.
So that's the first thing. Now, obviously talking about barbell squatting, is it bad to barefoot barbell squat for some people? Yes. For some people, no. And it all comes down to if they can maintain good foot stability and express good ankle mobility and have good technique, I've seen some people they've got amazing foot stability. They can maintain their foot and a good arch. They've got good ankle mobility, their making translate further forward over their toe. They can barefoot squat, big weight, and it looks fine. There's nothing wrong with that. However, you have to do a little self-actualization because some people don't understand their foot stability is crap in their ankle. Mobility is, you know, it sucks. They try to barbell squat without, you know shoes on and it's going to be disastrous because whenever you put yourself in a position like that you know, in your foot collapses, your ankle's not moving very well.
It's going to hinder technique all the way up. So all of a sudden your knees are going to be a little bit off balance. Your chest is going to be dropping forward. You're gonna be putting more pressure on your low back. So really taking some time and understanding, do I have the prerequisites in order to barbell squat, bare feet, you know, is going to be huge because can you do it sure. Can many people or should everyone do it? No. So that's going to be the big thing is it's a gray area and you have to understand if it's right for you.
Gotcha. Okay. Now, before we dig into some rapid fires, I want to get your thoughts on knee sleeves, when should be, when should we be using them? How often what are some things to look out for when considering niece leaves? Just your general thoughts on that, for sure.
So the big thing to understand is what is the difference between a knee sleeve and a knee wrap? Because a lot of people don't understand the, to me, wraps where you see people in, they're actually sitting there and they're wrapping around their knees. It's used by powerlifters mostly, but you'll see them sometimes in Olympic gym knee wraps create a mechanical efficiency effect where it is helping you lift more weight. The small rubber fibers that are in these heavy, nice leaves actually create almost a rubber band effect that helps propel the athlete out of the bottom of the squat. So it creates a mechanical advantage for them to lift more weight. Now, those are the big thick wraps. You'll see some Olympic weightlifters that will use a very light knee wrap. That's not doing the same thing. That's just keeping their knees worn.
So I'm talking specifically for the big thick-knee canvas wraps that have the, rubber filament inside knee sleeves only keep your knees warm. Now there are some brand new knee sleeves that are coming out. I think that are extremely dense that are maybe giving us a little bit different. I'm talking about just your generalized rebound knee sleeve. They just keep the knees worn. What people need to not do is use these to cover up the pain. And a lot of times people are like, Oh, my knees are aching. My knees are hurting. I need to wear knee sleeves. That's not the right reason. What you're doing is you're putting a band-aid over a problem. It's still the cause is still there. And you need to understand why you're having knee pain so you can fix the problem. Now, if you've got two hour workouts and you're like, man, my knees just started to feel cold.
You know, I wear some nice leaves and I feel like I'm a little bit more mobile. My knees feel warmer throughout the workout. It's fine. It's not a problem to wear them at all. That's what they're meant for, to keep the knees warm, keep you moving, help you feel a little bit better throughout your workout. Some people like them because it helps them give a little, a bit of awareness to where their knees are called as a kinesthetic awareness. There it's completely fine. So it's really a gray area, whether or not you want to wear knee sleeves, but just know a, they should not be used to cover up pain in B. They don't help you lift more weight. Like a knee wrap would
Got it. Okay. And so something that comes up for me, there are two brands I'm thinking of one is the Ray band compression sleeves that you're talking about. And then the other one is I think hook grip makes them it's like made out of cloth, like light cloth. What is the difference there? Is it just a, is it just a matter of that compression or are they both serving to just keep your knees warm or is one kind of stabilizing you a little more than the other?
Yeah, I, I think it really comes down to which one's going to provide a little more compression, keep a little bit more blood flow to the area. I don't think you're going to get an actual mechanical advantage from either of them. It's almost like the difference between wearing a pair of like tight shorts or under armor shorts. You know, like one's gonna feel a little bit tighter, may feel like you can move a little bit better, but it's not actually going to improve your performance. Do you know what I'm saying? So yeah, I think both in the end, they're just helping you stay nice and warm. For example, if anyone's used the Tommy Kono knee wraps or knee sleeves, they're extremely thick in they're much warmer on your knees than the rebound ones are. So there's a lot of different types of construction, I guess we'll say for the knees sleeves, but in the end, they're just there to keep your knees warm. And if you like how it feels nothing wrong with them.
Awesome, man. Cool. All right. So let's dig into some rapid fires. These are not limited to just training or squatting. This is just life in general. So what is, what is your morning routine look like if you have any at all
Morning routine right now, I wake up at about six, 15 to six 20 two-way eggs, sausage or bacon, a little bit of fruits, whole milk, and a protein shake and get my butt to work. Usually I start work at about between seven to seven 30 every single day, seeing my first patients and that's the same morning routine for most of the week. I do have today's Thursday. So today is my day off, still wake up at the same time, except I get a bunch of squat university stuff out of the way, sitting on my couch rather than actually being in work, seeing patients.
What are three things you think of more than the average person?
Squatting is one of them how my hips and ankles are feeling throughout the day. Yeah, those are the big ones is just basically, it's been four hours. I haven't sat in a deep squat yet today. I better get down and stretch my body out a little bit.
Down there. Awesome. so, okay. Let's say that you had a few billion dollars, right? And you had a staff of 40 people and these 40 people are top thinkers, top performers in whatever it is that you're recruiting them for. And you wanted to use that to make some type of change, some type of impact. What would you do?
Wow, that's a good question. First off, gosh, 40 people that I got my, my big thing is I would use the money to help promote empowerment of everyone else. So first off, what I'd probably do is get the staff down to a couple of people. I don't need 40 people to do our job. You know, they need, you could be doing something else. We would be doing a huge social media outreach putting as much content out as possible to help other people live their lives better. The same thing I do with school university, just on greater extent.
Okay. Yeah, that's perfect. A lot of times people get stumped with this question. I'm like, Hey, you can use that same money to do exactly what you're doing now. Just amplify it, you know?
Yeah. Basically it is putting out more content, more video, more blogs, more books to help as many people as possible you know, take as minimal as possible from my own salary. Cause then in the end, you know, you can't take money with you when you die. The goal is to help as many people as possible.
Absolutely. let's say you're still a billionaire, right. And you could give two to three books to everybody in the country this year. What, two to three books would they be
For sure. Let's see here becoming a supple leopard by Kelly star. It was a huge book for me. Let's see here, crush it by Gary Vaynerchuk is another big book to help you find your own passion is his big thing in there. The third book would be the book that I just came out with the squat Bible. Yeah,
Yeah. Yeah. Tell me, tell me a little bit more about that. Cause that actually comes out, that's released today. So what went into, you know, making this book and you know, what inspired it, let's get into that a little bit.
Definitely. So it is the culmination of everything that I've tried to do here with squat university over the past year and a half. The book is the most simple way of understanding how to fix your body when it comes to the squad. And like I said, the reason that the squad is so important is because it sets the foundation for everything else that you're doing, especially as an athlete, as a human being. So if you can fix your squat, you're going to have a better clean, you're going to have a better snatch. You're going to be able to, you know, go up and down stairs a little bit better. You're going to be able to go play with your kids when you're 60 years old or grandkids, because your body's more functionally active and in strong to be able to handle the loads that life throws on you.
So it starts off with just learning basic simple technique. There's a number of books that do this. So why is this different? Well, because the next couple of chapters, what we do is I then show you simple screens that you can use to break down your body and find the weak links that are holding you back from finding your true potential. You know, is it ankle mobility? I don't know. Let's try this test. What did you find? Yes or no? Oh, you find an ankle molt restriction. Here's what you need to do then to perfect that ankle mobility, which will then help your front squat, your back squat. So that's the thing that I think is unique to the book that other books done is sort of help you find out exactly what your body needs. Because the last thing I want to do is just throw a thousand corrective exercises at you. And then, you know, you being someone who's, you know, you go to the gym, but you have no idea. Do I need to do ankle mobility? Do I need you to do overhead mobility? Well, let me show you, let me, so, you know, help explain it in the most simple way possible so that you can find the tools that your body needs to be able to perfect your technique, improve your potential, to lift bigger weights and live the life that you want.
Yeah. That the screens are, I feel like super beneficial, right? Because we could be thinking this whole time that it's our hips that are limiting us when in reality it could be your ankles, but until we actually do screen and evaluate you, you don't really know for sure. You're just kind of guessing.
Exactly. And I mean, I see it in all of my athletes when they come in with injuries and especially the big thing comes, you know, with the shoulder athletes in general, young athletes do not have stiff shoulders, but a lot of people get into a problem with their overhead squats. They say, well, it's gotta be my shoulders. I gotta to do more mobility. I gotta do more mobility. And the thing is is that if they did more mobility for their shoulders, they would make an already hypermobile joint, even more mobile. And they push themselves into a position where they could then end up injuring themselves. So that's why giving mobility tools out there, haphazardly without qualifying who needs these movements can really set some people up for some bad injuries in the future. So that's why I show you some of these tools and I go, Hey, do you need this? Yes or no, if you don't move on, because it may be that your problem getting into an overhead squat position, isn't due to mobility, it's due to a shoulder instability problem that you need to do some corrective exercises to improve your stability, coordination, your strength that will help you in the end. So it's all about individualizing, what corrective exercises you do. So then you have the most efficient outcomes
That's crucial, especially because, you know, you only have so much time in the day. So if you've got 15 minutes, you know, afterward to focus on something and you're focusing on mobility, when you could be on stability it's just a smarter way to go about it.
Exactly. I always say be efficient and effective with the exercises you choose. So you can get the most out of what you're trying to, you know, what your end goal is.
Absolutely. so is there something you feel like you don't get asked enough about something you wish people would ask you more?
Oh gosh. That's a good question. You know, a lot, there's a lot of questions. I, I do something recently on Instagram, why called the ask squad show and I'll I'll record those shows and put them up on YouTube. So there's a ton and ton of information that comes in and questions through that. So trying to think if there's one that doesn't get asked enough, I think a big one is how to use a weightlifting belt properly. You know, some people do ask it, but a lot of people don't realize that they're using a weightlifting belt the wrong way. They think that just by wearing it tightly they're doing enough. And what we find is that if you're not actually in bracing your stomach into the belt, basically expanding your core into the belt that you're wearing. You're not using it efficiently. And by improving the way you're using it, you're going to be so much more stable and able to lift so much more weight.
This actually just sparked a question that I had for you, but I forgot when it comes to breathing and bracing you know, your core while you are squatting. Let's say that you have to pause for a couple of seconds in the bottom of a squat, right? You're doing maybe a three RM and you know, at the bottom of each rep, you're pausing for like a three to five count. Are you holding your breath at this point? Or are you able to breathe?
Good question. It's going to depend on first how heavy, the way it is and yeah, that, that's going to be the big thing, I guess. Let's say it's a lightweight, let's say I've got, you know, I'm just warming up. I've got 70 kilos on my back. I'm eventually going to work up to like 180 kilos. So I'm not, you know, I'm at like less than 50%, you can set at the bottom of a deep squat for a couple of seconds and just sort of breathing naturally. And you'll be fine. It's really lightweight. It's easy to be able to maintain your core stability. Once you get up to your really heavier weights, you're not going to be able to let your air all the way out, because what happens is that you're going to completely decrease that natural course stability that you just worked, you're inter abdominal cavity pressure.
It's going to decrease to the point where you're, you're basically putting a lot of pressure on the smaller structures of your spine. So let's say you're doing a pretty heavy paused rep. As you get down to the bottom, I want you to be able to take especially three to five seconds. That's a long time to hold your breath with that much weight on your back. You want to be able to take very small sips in and out of air, but you want to have to maintain that huge core stability that you worked on. So I always say big breath in brace your core, hold your breath, get down to the bottom. Maybe take a couple sips in and out, but you have to maintain a huge, basically core brace that good intra-abdominal cavity pressure and then back up. So it's sort of an in-between as far as holding it and, and letting it a little bit of air.
Okay, perfect. Awesome. And so, okay. What should a kosher athlete take away from this podcast? How can they make themselves better today? By listening to this?
The big thing that I want people to take away is the understanding that if you move well first and improve your technique, bodyweight, squat, and barbell, think about your technique every single time in move with the intention to perform a perfect rep, every single time, good things are going to happen. You're going to eventually lift bigger weight and you're going to reach the potential in a safer way. If you come at it with that mindset.
All right, phenomenal. And how can we support you? Where can we point people to let us know how we can support the journey?
Definitely. So you can find me squat university.com is my blog website. I try to come out with weekly or bi-weekly blogs. I'm on all social media aspects, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat under Aaron horseshit. Facebook have a squat university as well. And also my very first book, the squat Bible, the ultimate guide to mastering the squad and finding your true strength just came out today. You can find it on amazon.com. Awesome, man.
We'll get all that linked up in the show notes. Thank you so much for doing this man. I love what you're doing and you're helping a lot of people and I appreciate you coming on and dropping some knowledge.
Hey, I really appreciate it. It was a lot of fun.
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