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  1. #1
    Registered User Blackdevil77's Avatar
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    Mobility Exercises For Squatting

    I'm a bit embarrassed to be asking this, but you gotta start somewhere I guess. I've been working out for years in my basement, but was never able to properly work out legs due to equipment and space limitations. Just recently joined a gym and on leg day, I feel like the ultimate amateur (because I am when it comes to legs). Biggest problem is with the squat. I lack the mobility to squat properly. Forget about a barbell with weight on it, I can't even lower myself into the proper squat position. Many suggest the hips are the problem, which they may be, but the biggest problem I notice is the flexibility of my ankles. When I lower myself into the position, I have to hold on to something to keep from falling backwards, because all of the pressure on my toes. I can't put the weight on my heels when lowered into that position because my ankles can't bend that far back. Even when walking, people would always point out that I walk on my toes because of my inability to bend my foot back to put my heel down.

    That background was just to stress how seriously stiff I am. What kind of mobility exercises can I do to fix these problems so I can eventually be able to squat properly?

    2nd question, what other leg exercise can I do in the meantime to start building those muscles? Leg press?
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  2. #2
    12 pack > 6 pack PurmaBulker1984's Avatar
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    There are better experts on here than me, but have you tried doing legs forward squats on the Smith. Or v squat machine. Start with the bar going all the way down. It will give you stability and let you get comfortable being low.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Blackdevil77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PurmaBulker1984 View Post
    There are better experts on here than me, but have you tried doing legs forward squats on the Smith. Or v squat machine. Start with the bar going all the way down. It will give you stability and let you get comfortable being low.
    I have not tried that, is that basically just a squat with the smith machine? I’ve been trying to practice just lowering myself into the position properly. My balance and mobility are so awful, I figured I have to do other things before I can even start trying to do squats
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    Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post
    I have not tried that, is that basically just a squat with the smith machine? I’ve been trying to practice just lowering myself into the position properly. My balance and mobility are so awful, I figured I have to do other things before I can even start trying to do squats
    feet forward is different. Just google it.
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    295 incl bb bench
    275 push press.

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    Registered User glossyMac17's Avatar
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    For ankle mobility I've found that daily bodyweight squats holding the bottom position, for 10 minutes or however long, really stretches the ankles and also opens up the hips. When doing this I point my shoes straight, feet 2-3 inches apart, and just sit/squat down like I'm on a toilet (for lack of a better description).

    Throw in a stretch for the hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes (yoga pigeon pose is a favorite) to begin with and see how you go.
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    Registered User Blackdevil77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PurmaBulker1984 View Post
    feet forward is different. Just google it.
    That's very interesting, I've never seen or heard of that before. I'll give it a shot, thanks. I'm anticipating some weird looks at the gym, but I don't care lol.
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    Registered User Blackdevil77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by glossyMac17 View Post
    For ankle mobility I've found that daily bodyweight squats holding the bottom position, for 10 minutes or however long, really stretches the ankles and also opens up the hips. When doing this I point my shoes straight, feet 2-3 inches apart, and just sit/squat down like I'm on a toilet (for lack of a better description).

    Throw in a stretch for the hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes (yoga pigeon pose is a favorite) to begin with and see how you go.
    That's actually what I've been doing, but I have to hold on to something to keep from falling back. I'll continue doing that as well.
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    Registered User rdf1988's Avatar
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    - Kneeling soleus stretch
    - Dynamic kneeling soleus stretch, rocking forward against a resistance band at the ankle (helps pull the shin back and create more mobility at the joint level, if that's obstructing movement)
    - Plantar fascia myofascial release (fancy terms for "stand on a hard ball or similar object while it digs into the muscles on the bottom of your foot; see how long you can go without swearing")
    - Tibialis anterior activation
    - Wear squat shoes

    If none of the above work, all I can say is I tried.
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    Registered User DCSpartan's Avatar
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    To focus on mobility, I would recommend warming up with Joe Defranco's LImber 11. Its a great warm up and mobility work for any lifter.

    After you do the LImber 11, grab a dumbell or kettlebell and work on goblets squats, work on getting down inthe hole and sitting there tight and letting things stretch for a few seconds, then come up and do it again.

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    Glossys advise above is one that i would and do use.
    Just sit in a squat position and don't force it try to relax.
    Your body will fight it but eventually you'll be able to slowly inch down the depth.
    Also wedge your elbows between the quads, open them up gently and slowly rock side to side.
    The other thing already mentioned is ankle mobility/flexability work stretching them on a block and move them in circles each way.
    Stretch the hip flexors and hamstrings which look like it's covered with Joe Defrancos limber 11.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Blackdevil77's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the input, I’ll be going hard with the mobility exercises. Just came back from the gym and tried forward squats with the smith machine. It worked well, but wow my legs/glutes aren’t up to the same level as my upper body. I guess that’s what happens when you skip leg day (involuntarily) for about 6 years.
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    I’m a newbie overall and this helped me CRAZY lot...

    Dynamic stretches Before Workout:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1e528F0pYPg

    Static after: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uqjqvO4gn8k

    I do them before and after every workout. If i don’t do dynamic before, workouts suck cuz I feel like body is stuck.

    If I don’t do after, next day DOMS is horrible, specially in the legs.

    Note: I am not affiliated with this guy at all. Watch the video and follow it if you feel it will be beneficial for you.

    Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post
    I'm a bit embarrassed to be asking this, but you gotta start somewhere I guess. I've been working out for years in my basement, but was never able to properly work out legs due to equipment and space limitations. Just recently joined a gym and on leg day, I feel like the ultimate amateur (because I am when it comes to legs). Biggest problem is with the squat. I lack the mobility to squat properly. Forget about a barbell with weight on it, I can't even lower myself into the proper squat position. Many suggest the hips are the problem, which they may be, but the biggest problem I notice is the flexibility of my ankles. When I lower myself into the position, I have to hold on to something to keep from falling backwards, because all of the pressure on my toes. I can't put the weight on my heels when lowered into that position because my ankles can't bend that far back. Even when walking, people would always point out that I walk on my toes because of my inability to bend my foot back to put my heel down.

    That background was just to stress how seriously stiff I am. What kind of mobility exercises can I do to fix these problems so I can eventually be able to squat properly?

    2nd question, what other leg exercise can I do in the meantime to start building those muscles? Leg press?
    **^^ Work hard AND more importantly, work smart ^^**
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