Time To Get Your Legs In Order: SQUAT!
One thing I always tell my clients when teaching them how to properly perform a squat is to: “Sit back into the squat!” or just imagine you’re going to sit down into a chair. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint which allows it to have such a wide range of motion. So when performing the squat the hip joint acts as a hinge because you’re able to flex, extend, abduct, and adduct. Because the hip joint acts as a hinge it allows you to activate the muscles that are needed to sit back in the squat, which in turn allows the gluteus maximus to become part of the lift and helps increase activation.
Sitting back also helps decrease the torque that occurs at the knee joint because you aren’t allowing the knees to move far beyond the toes. When the glutes can activate and share the load with the quads the weight of the load can be distributed evenly throughout the lower extremities.
The gluteus maximus has the ability to resist excessive anterior tilting of the pelvis because it offsets the pull of the lumbar paraspinals, to keep the lumbar spine in a neutral position. To be able to return to the start position you need to be able to resist the momentum of the center of mass via eccentric (elongation or stretching of the muscle) contractions of the leg extensor muscles.
Squatting is beneficial to anyone who works out because it is one of the bigger compound movements and you use it a lot in your everyday life. So remember when squatting: “Sit into the chair (butt out), chest up!” Another benefit of squatting is that you’re forced to activate your core which in turn can help you develop that nice mid-section that you desire.