How to Warm-Up Properly For the Squat

How to Warm-Up Properly For the Squat

OPEX HQ Coach Matt Springer provides clear direction on how to structure your warm-up for squatting

The Squat is the most basic movement in all of fitness. Despite its simplicity it can be unbelievably difficult to warm up appropriately for the squat. Much of the reason why has to do with the sheer amount of warm-up techniques for the squat scattered across the internet.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts everywhere allow stretching trends rather than principles to guide their warm-up efforts. As a result, a majority of them spend almost half an hour wasting their time with random stretches or foam rollers rather than a focused and guided effort to prepare them for movement.

Rather than teach you another useless stretch that may or may not work for you, we want to share the principles behind a good warm-up and what that may look like for a movement like the squat.

How to prepare your body for the squat with these 3 drills

You only need three distinct drills in your warm-up routine to prepare your body for any movement including the squat:

  • Soft Tissue DrillsSoft tissue refers to tissues that connect, support, or surround other structures and organs of the body. Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels, and synovial membranes. Soft tissue drills include foam rolling, or basic stretching.
  • Joint Mobility Drills – Just as the name implies, joint mobility drills involve hinging or moving of joints in an effort to increase range of motion. Such drills could involve the use of a lacrosse ball inside or around joints or band assisted stretches on a rig.
  • Activation Drills – These drills involve ‘turning on’ muscle groups to work. Examples of such drills include theraband shuffles or planks.

In the video above Head Coach Matt Springer walks us through what his warm-up routine is for squatting in relation to the principles of warming up found above.

Matt starts off by rolling his shins with a mobility stick (1:25) and then a short knee gapping (2:24) session. Both of these are soft tissue drills related to preparing his body for the squat.

Next up, Matt engages in a banded ankle distraction (3:05). This is a joint mobility drill related to squat performance.

Finally as part of his activation drills sequence Matt will do a theraband lateral walk. This activates the glute for use the squat.

Take note that the above shown warm-up was something that Matt created for himself through experimentation. You only need one drill per sequence. In other words, you only need one soft tissue drill, one joint mobility drill and one activation drill to appropriately warm up for the squat as well as any other movement. However, you must select drills that relate to the movement or muscle you plan to use or will use in an upcoming workout or training session.

Interested to discover what warm-ups and drills will work best for you? Click below to schedule a consult with one of our professional OPEX coaches today!

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