MODULE 2.2: The Squat

What is a squat?

What does a squat train?


The squat is one of our primary quad dominant exercises we use with our athletes, with prime movers including the quads and glutes. The degree of quad loading is very dependent on a) the squat variation you're using, and b) the depth you're squatting too. Generally, more upright squat patterns (i.e. goblet squats, front squats) tend to be more quad dominant, whereas less upright squat patterns (i.e. box squat, low bar back squat) tend to be more glute dominant. We generally prefer to use the squat as a tool for developing quad/knee strength, and use our hinging patterns as a glute dominant pattern. Additionally the type of squat variation will also dictate what accessory muscles are being used, with upright squat patterns typically recruiting more anterior core, whereas less upright squat patterns typically recruit more posterior core.


Training a squat pattern transfers to sport-specific movements where knee dominant vertical force production is important such as jumping and landing, decelerating, and accelerating. 

What are the technical KPI's of a squatting pattern?

  • Hips move vertically up and down

    • Encourages a more knee/quad dominant pattern

  • Knees move forwards and backwards over toes, or slightly outside of toes

    • Ensures the athlete is controlling the lower limb using hip/proximal stabilisers

    • "Knees outside toes" encourages a strong activation of hip abductors/external rotators

  • Neutral spine

    • To ensure even distribution of load throughout the thorax

How can we address technical errors?

  • Cuing

    • Up and down movement of hips

    • Forward and backward movement of knees

    • "Tall" torso position

    • Pushing knees out

  • Regression/progression of the movement

    • Regress to a sit-stand movement if necessary

  • Use of constraints

    • Hold a weight in front to encourage a tall posture

    • Chair behind to encourage sitting pattern

    • Band around knees to force a varus knee pattern

What are some variations of the squat?

  • Goblet squat

  • Front squat

  • Bulgarian squat

  • Single leg sit-stand

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle

Original website concept and design by Breanna Harris

© 2020 Rise Health Group

Lysterfield Wolves JFC.png