"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him ... but let him ask in faith, with no doubting"      James 1:5
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Barbell Squat

What can you do to become more powerful and faster?'  The answer is squat.  The squat is unquestionably a very important exercise that works a large number of major muscle groups.  Studies have shown that squats can even improve your bench press not to mention the dead lift, clean & jerk along with other power movements.  As a football player your workout routine should contain the barbell squat.  But before you just throw weight on the barbell and get to it make sure you are performing the exercise properly.  As with any exercise if your form is bad you are not getting the full effect of the exercise.

Start with your body directly in the center of the bar.  Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart directly under the bar.  Maintain the lordotic curve in your lower back with your chest up.  Your head is pointed straight ahead or slightly upward.  Do not look down.  Remember - the body follows the head.

Once you lift the barbell off the rack, take a few steps back.

Take a deep breath, flex your knees and hips as you lower your body.  As you come down, your hips should move backward like you were going to sit down in a chair.  Your torso should start to move forward maintaining the lordotic curve with you chest and head up.

The picture above shows proper technique.  Do not allow your knees to move medially (inside your feet).  This is often a sign of weak glutes.  Notice above that the head is up, body is centered underneath the bar, and the knees are over the feet.  Also, don't allow your heels to come off the floor.  Both feet should be in full contact with the floor at all times.  If your heels do come up your knees are too far forward.  To correct this throw your hips farther back.

Squatting is not seen as just standing up with weight on your shoulders.  You are concentrating on pushing the bar.

Once you reach the bottom position, start to reverse direction by pushing through your heels.  As you begin your assent, start to exhale returning to the start position.

You can change the degree of stress placed upon certain muscle groups by changing the width of your stance.  In the picture above you see a shoulder width stance.  This is more difficult than a wider stance and places an emphasis on the quadriceps.  A wider stance targets the abductor muscles (outer thigh) and allows you to use more weight, but lessens the stress on the quads.

     

Muscles involved:  Hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and the erector muscles of the back.  The erector muscles contract isometricly to keep the normal curvature of the spine.

If your form is incorrect .. lessen the weight.  Forget 'ego sets' and concentrate on getting stronger.  Once you have the basic squat perfected there are other exercises to incorporate such as the front squat.

Remember to make your workouts football specific.

  Z