The quadriceps, located on the front of the thigh, are the primary muscles responsible for extending the knee during the squat. These muscles are heavily engaged in both the upward (concentric) and downward (eccentric) phases of the exercise.
The glutes, located in the buttocks, are the primary hip extensors during the squat. These muscles are responsible for extending the hip joint and driving the lifter out of the squat position. The glutes are heavily engaged during the upward (concentric) phase of the exercise.
In addition to the primary muscle groups, the squat also engages the core, lower back, and upper back muscles. The core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and erector spinae, are heavily engaged to stabilize the torso during the squat. The upper back muscles, including the trapezius, rhomboids, and rear deltoids, are also engaged to stabilize the barbell on the back during the exercise.
Not warming up properly before squatting can lead to several problems, including:
- Decreased Performance: Without a proper warm-up, your muscles won’t be primed for the work ahead. This can result in decreased performance, as your muscles won’t be able to generate the necessary force to perform the squat properly.
- Increased Risk of Injury: Squatting puts a lot of stress on your muscles, joints, and connective tissues. Without a proper warm-up, your body won’t be prepared for this stress, which can lead to injuries such as strained muscles, torn ligaments, and even dislocated joints.
- Decreased Range of Motion: Squats require a significant amount of flexibility in your hips, knees, and ankles. Without a proper warm-up, your range of motion may be limited, which can lead to poor squat form, decreased performance, and an increased risk of injury.
- Lack of Ankle Mobility: The ability to move your ankle joint through its full range of motion is essential for proper squat form. If you lack ankle mobility, your heels may lift off the ground during the squat, which can put excessive stress on your knees and lower back.
- Knee Valgus: Knee valgus is when your knees collapse inward during the squat. This can put excessive stress on your knee joints, leading to pain and injury. Knee valgus is often caused by weak glute muscles and poor hip mobility.
- Lumbar Flexion: Lumbar flexion is when your lower back rounds during the squat. This can put excessive stress on your lower back and increase your risk of injury. Lumbar flexion is often caused by poor core stability and weak glute muscles.
- Excessive Forward Lean: Excessive forward lean is when your torso leans too far forward during the squat. This can put excessive stress on your lower back and increase your risk of injury. Excessive forward lean is often caused by weak core muscles and poor hip mobility.
How We Can Help
If you’re struggling with squat mobility issues and want to improve your performance, then our Unlock your Squat Mobility Rehab Program is just what you need. This comprehensive program is designed to help you overcome common mobility restrictions and achieve a full range of motion in your squat.
Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance, a fitness enthusiast looking to get stronger, or just someone looking to move better in your everyday life, this program can help you achieve your goals. You’ll learn a variety of mobility exercises, stretches, and drills that are specifically designed to improve your squat mobility.
Or if you’re located in the Toronto area, book an appointment with one of our health care practitioners to get started in developing a personalized rehab plan to help you build a stronger and pain free squat!