The best way to improve your squat is to practice it. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become in the squatting position. Including some of the drills in your warm up is a good idea, as is incorporating them into your active recovery days. To improve your squat, practice one or a combination of these drills. They will help you to acquire the position, a necessary prerequisite to performing a loaded squat.
1. Wall Squat – Squat down facing the wall with your hands against the wall but no other part of your body touching it. On the way down, send your hips back and your knees out. This will help load up your glutes and hamstrings. Use the wall to help you keep upright whilst you remain in this position for as long as you can manage. On the way up, squeeze your glutes, and drive through the heels to rise.
2. Goblet squat - Squat with a kettlebell held like a goblet in front of your body. Keep your elbows pointing down. When you squat down, your elbows should be inside your knees. Focus on pushing the knees out using the elbows to help open up the hips.
3. Pole squat - Squat down whilst lightly holding a vertical pole or you could use a door jamb. Standing arm’s length away from the pole with feet shoulder-width apart. Holding the pole with both hands, sit back into the squat using the pole to keep you upright and keep you from falling backward. This will help you maintain an upright position as you move into a deep squat.
Keeping your feet planted, move your body a little in each direction before bringing your weight back to the center. If you find a particular tight spot, create further smaller movement around that area. Continue for 2-3 minutes. This will help to loosen up and create a better bottom position for the squat. Gradually take less and less of a grip on the pole with each squat, until you are only using your fingertips on the pole.
A deep squat is a natural position that we have lost as a result of our sedentary lifestyles. Days spent sitting in front of a computer and sitting in the car. Although many joints and muscles are involved in getting to a deep squat, it is worthwhile to explore your own range of motion and figure out what is holding you back from getting into your lowest position. I hope these drills prove helpful in your journey.