A proper squat pattern requires adequate mobility from your ankles, hips, and upper back. Here are a few drills to improve your squat.
Stiff ankles can limit squat depth. They will cause your weight to shift back making it difficult to achieve proper depth. Improving your ankle range of motion can dramatically change how your squat looks and feels. The box ankle mobility drill is one of my favorites. Place one foot on the box – keep your foot flat and drive your knee forward (towards your pinky toe). Grab the box and push your chest on your leg to increase the stretch.
Our hips play a major role in squat depth. As we lower into a squat our hips flex, externally and internally rotate – depending on which position were in. Our 90/90 hip mobility drill improves both external and internal rotation. The front hip is externally rotated while the back hip is internally rotated. Sit as up right as you lean forward to stretch the front hip. Then turn towards your back leg to work on internal rotation – still sitting upright.
Our upper back requires mobility to remain upright in the bottom position of the squat. Many of us have a tight upper back from sitting frequently. To improve thoracic (mid back) extension grab a foam roller and put it underneath the middle part of your back. Keeping your butt on the ground and your core braced, extend over the roller. Perform several reps until you feel a change.