Operation Squat Like a Baby


I've always been a good athlete. Picking up movements has always come pretty naturally for me. And despite a good number of injuries, I enjoyed a fairly successful athletic career. So, I share this while sitting down to a rather monstrous plate of humble pie.

Squat test day 1.png

This glorious picture is my sorry attempt to sit in the bottom position of a squat. As you can see in comparison to my friend the baby up there, I'm almost there!! Except not really. Not really at all.

In truth, yesterday is the first time in a long time, I've actually assessed my own mobility. And in breaking down my positioning, I've realized I have a lot more work to do than I thought.

It's time for a total system override.

At first glance, it appears that my hips are the limiting factor in attaining optimal depth, while also maintaining an upright torso. And it's true, my hips don't lie - but unlike Shakira's, mine tell a story of neglect and abuse. That being said, my hips are not my biggest concern as I begin to fix my squat.

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The source of my movement woes exists downstream. Following the Stability-Mobility Continuum, my problems all stem from the instability of my feet. At its simplest, the Stability-Mobility Continuum states that impaired function of one joint - say, insufficient stability in a joint that ought to be stable - results in reduced function in the joint upstream - i.e. inordinate amounts of stability in a join that is meant to be mobile.

In my case, because I lack stability, primarily through my mid-foot and big toe, my ankles have been forced too overcompensate. This overcompensation leads to excess stability in a joint that should be mobile. Decreased mobility through the ankles, leads to reduced stability in the knees. In an effort to protect my knees, my hips jump into action, working overtime to maintain safe posture throughout the squat. Bingo bango: tight hips.

So what's a retired and broken athlete to do? I'm glad you asked! For the indefinite future, all my other training goals are taking a back seat while I address my movement mechanics. Starting from the feet and going up, I am going to reset my motor patterns in an attempt to squat like a baby again.

One hour a day. I've got a long road ahead of me. Road trip, baby!!!!