Bodyweight Squats for Lower Body Mobility
When discussing all the possible lower body strength and power exercises available in Gymnastic Strength Training, it is easy to overlook how important the bodyweight squat truly is. There are many exciting movement choices out there, and more often than not, trainers are too focused on entertaining their clients rather than training them. In order to build a solid foundation for more advanced work, however, the basic bodyweight squat needs to be a regular mainstay in your GST™ program.
Mobility in the Hips, Knees, and Ankles
Before we even begin detailing how a bodyweight squat is necessary for GST, we first need to explain the many benefits of this movement to your regular, everyday life. And to be clear, we are not yet referring to loading up a barbell with a ton of weight and squatting to the floor. While the barbell back squat can be a fantastic exercise for those who are physically prepared for it, the focus of this article is first gaining the adequate mobility to be able to squat all the way down without any added weight.
Why is this important? First off, if you spend just 10 minutes playing on the floor with a young child, you are inevitably going to see them drop down into a picture-perfect full squat in order to pick something up, play with a toy, or even just hang out. This full squat position is an evolutionary resting position for human beings, and all healthy babies are born with the mobility required to comfortably descend down into a bodyweight squat.
Master your mobility with lower body GymnasticBodies progressions!
What ends up happening, however, is that over time the mobility you were born with is sacrificed for more and more stability, eventually to the point where your hips, knees, and ankles become stiff and locked up. While this stiffness and inflexibility might help your body cope with sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, it, unfortunately, will also contribute to pain in your low back, knees, and possibly even more. By training full range of motion bodyweight squats, you will help remove restrictions in the muscles and connective tissues of your lower body.
Strength in the Lower Body
Another added benefit of training bodyweight squats is that you will develop strength throughout your entire lower body and core. Your glutes and quads, in particular, will get stronger and more defined from the muscle you build doing bodyweight squats. This is especially important in GST™ for exercises like Single Leg Squats, Weighted Lunges, and future advanced work such as jumping, sprinting, and tumbling.
Outside of the gym, you will also find several everyday activities that require you to perform full range of motion bodyweight squats. Just think of the positions you are in when you are sitting on the couch, toilet, or floor. In order to stand up from sitting in a chair, for instance, you need to pass through a semi-squat position at some point.
If you lack the leg strength to do a bodyweight squat, then you will have serious, life-threatening problems living on your own. This is why it is crucially important for elderly people to be able to stand up off the ground with as little assistance as possible. Realistically, there might be an incident where they need to be able to squat their bodyweight up in order to rise from the floor.
By training GymnasticBodies bodyweight squats, you will increase the strength in your hips and legs, something that might even save your life one day!