The moves: Practice for a perfect squat.
Works on: Lower extremity strength, back stabilization, and balance.
Setup: Stand perpendicular to a flat bench with the feet shoulder-width apart and pointed slightly out. Choose something such as a broom handle or weighted wand that is long enough to reach from the tailbone to the top of the head. Hold this object against your back and ensure the back of the head is touching the wand without the neck being cocked back (the eyes should be looking forward). The wand should be flat against the pelvis, and the lower back should arch slightly away from the wand.
|DON'T KNOW SQUAT - Emergency medical technician Clint McLaughlin performs the perfect squat using a long pole. CNS Photo by Peggy Peattie. |
Steps: Begin the squat by pushing the hips back as far as possible without losing your balance, and allow the torso to lean forward as a counterbalance. Squat down as far as you are able, but maintain the low back arch and all contact points of the back to the wand.
Repetitions: Three sets of 15.
Precautions: Sit on the bench if you lose balance. Keep the knees aligned with the toes. Try to keep the knees from going more forward than the ankles.
Options: Discontinue the wand. Hold small dumbbells at shoulder height, or a light weight bar across the shoulders. Progress as tolerated.