Comprehensive Squatting: More squatting biomechanics than you could ever want to know (until you see the results)

Everyone in this industry talks about building your foundation.

Go back to basics.

Do the easy things well.

Keep it simple, stupid.

Pelvic position is paramount in developing a client’s foundation and your own fundamental skillset as a coach.

Again for emphasis: this topic is essential for coaches.

I broke this talk into two components: lecture and practical. For those of you who want my advice, here’s how you should approach this topic…

…In part one, picture the anatomy and understand some of the more intricate motions of the pelvis with simple figures before we move to the gym. If you don’t think my pictures are sufficient, google some more. You want your mental model to be as comprehensive as possible. If anything is unclear, leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.

…In part two, take your new mental model to the gym with us. Relate the theory that you’ve just learned to what you always see in the gym. Think up two clients who might need help with this. What are two simple coaching cues or exercises you might use to help them out? Post them below.

Here’s a quick summary of the two main pelvic motions:

Nutation
Sacrum anteriorly tilts relative to pelvic bones
Pelvic floor taut
Pelvic outlet opens
Counternutation
Sacrum posteriorly tilts relative to pelvic bones
Pelvic floor descends
Pelvic outlet closes

Part 1 – Lecture

Topics in this video include:

  • What the birthing literature tells us about pelvic positions (I’m not joking)
  • The “weird to us” position in which some other cultures choose to have their babies
  • What are the various positions of the sacrum
  • What are the various positions of the os coxae (a.k.a. the pelvic bones!)
  • What happens to the pelvic floor muscles in these positions
  • How a pelvic position can instantly increase squat strength
  • How a pelvic position can instantly increase jump height
  • How pelvic positions can create hypermobility elsewhere
  • How a powerlifter can get around the two most common positions
  • How a belt can help a powerlifter squat A LOT more
  • When a belt WON’T help a powerlifter squat much more
  • Why powerlifting is probably inappropriate for a tradition athlete (e.g. basketball, football, etc)
  • The “optimal” pelvic position for a squat (you’ll have to hear the explanation)
  • Why shoulder position matters (and what position is “optimal”)
  • How an Olympic lifter optimizes their pressure for a jerk
  • How a squat might be the best exercise to teach you how to row (wait what?)
  • Why all this pelvic position talk is a foundation for speed and agility
  • Why it’s easier to teach this to a 14-year-old female than a 55-year-old male
  • How to teach this stuff to people who already think they squat well even though they don’t

Here’s a link to the squat spine position article I mentioned: PubMed.

Here’s the Mechanical Respiration videos I mentioned:
The Mechanics of Respiration: A 3-part series


Part 2 – Coaching the Squat

Topics in this video include:

  • Why front squats tend to look “prettier” than back squats
  • What all this pelvis talk looks like during a front squat
  • What all this pelvis talk looks like during a back squat
  • Why you shouldn’t squeeze the shoulders back during a squat
  • How to identify sacral counternutation during a squat (HINT: look at the spine!)
  • How to cue breathing to brace during squat (If you want more, Brandon talked about this more than I did here)

Plus, you get to see Lance trying out my new handheld video stabilizer (we’re very hip here at IFASTU).

Published by Bill Hartman

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