A common observation of new weightlifters squatting to improve...
A common observation of new weightlifters squatting to improve weightlifting performance is a lack of appropriate depth. What is commonly observed is the tendency for athletes to stop at a range that is hip crease below knees. Now, depending on the standard of movement for the purpose of the activity, this may be completely appropriate and acceptable under a certain set of circumstances. However, if you care about your Olympic weightlifting performance, get low.
Before we discredit the squatting merits of these athletes, I always like to poke a little deeper and find out why they’re performing the movement the way they are when the instructions were to “go as low as possible to full depth”. The feedback I often get is that they’re “staying on tension” and worry that going all the way down will cause them to lose this tension they feel.
This feeling of tension is the muscular stretch coming from the athlete’s posterior chain — primarily the stretch they feel in their hips and hamstrings. Going lower than hip crease below knees will cause this feeling of tension to go away.
If this sounds like you, fear not. Going to full depth is in no way shutting your muscular support system down — well, not unless you do it intentionally. You may get that cozy feeling of sitting into the hammock of the hips and hamstrings, but your musculature is still very “on” down in the hole. They are now just functioning in a way to support the stability and integrity of the structure of the system — to actively resist caving underneath the weight. So go ahead, get low; and remember, if you need to ask, then you’re probably not going low enough.
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