Losing tightness in the hole

8.30.19 Losing Tightness In the Hole Part 1.mp4 from Hybrid Performance Method on Vimeo.

8.30.19 Losing Tightness In The Hole Part 2.mp4 from Hybrid Performance Method on Vimeo.

Losing tightness in the hole 

A pretty common issue for lifters in the squat is loss of tension at the bottom of the lift.

Control during the descent is not only achieved by slowing down the movement, but also by mindfully recruiting certain muscles. 

Let’s quickly review some anatomy before we move on. 

  • During the descent your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, are eccentrically loaded
  • Your core is engaged and acting in an anti-flexion manner 
  • Your erectors are keeping your torso upright 

In addition to all those major muscles, there are muscles in the front and side of the hip that contribute significantly to pelvic stability. 

By actively and mindfully resisting the weight during the eccentric portion, you are able to increase the amount of motor units that are recruited as well as top any force production during the concentric phase. 

The speed of the bar should only be as fast as you can control. It’s not about simply slowing the movement down, a mindful contraction and recruitment of the muscles that act around the hip. 

There’s a simple technique alteration that will make it easier for you to feel and recruit the muscles on the side of your hips. You’re going to change your toe position from pointing out to pointing slightly more inwards (more straight). After you do that, before you initiate the squat, you’re going to create torque against the floor by externally rotating your femurs and your toes. 

Here’s an easy drill to incorporate into your squat technique. For this drill, you will need a partner. 

While your partner holds your feet, pull your knees toward your chest against the resistance that they are providing. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Then, while maintaining tension in your hip flexors, allow your partner to lower your feet back down. By slightly modifying your technique and focusing on a slightly different cue, you will be able to improve your control of the barbell during the squat in all positions. 

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