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How Low Should I Be Squatting?

Here's Exactly How Deep You Should Be Squatting

Photographer: Diggy LloydEditorial and internal use only. No advertising or print.Product Credits: Outdoor Voices sports bra, H&M pants, APL sneakers.Photographer: Diggy LloydEditorial and internal use only. No advertising or print.Product Credits: Outdoor Voices sports bra, Tori Sport pants, APL sneakers.

Squatting is one of the most popular exercises you can do to build overall strength and improve flexibility and mobility, and of course build a bigger butt. As popular as squats are, it's important to make sure you're doing them correctly. Because of our unique genetic makeup, mobility, and flexibility, every squat will look different. There's no one-size-fits-all method to squatting, and as a personal trainer there are a variety of tests I walk my clients through to find their optimal squat stance and depth.

The Quadruped Rock Back test will have you on your way to your best squats yet by assessing any mobility issues that may exist. You don't want to push your body further than it can naturally go. Squatting deeper than your range of motion puts you at risk for injuries related to compensating, such as lower back pain.

Quadruped Rock Back Test

  • Start off on all fours in a quadruped position. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be directly underneath your hips.
  • Begin to shift your hips backwards
  • Continue to move backward until your pelvis starts to move, creating a posterior pelvic tilt (your back will look like it's rounding).
  • Repeat the above steps with your knees wider (most people can sit back further with their hips wider).

Note how far back your hips can go before your pelvis moves — this is how deep you should be squatting. If your hips do not move, you can go all the way down to parallel. This test is a great way to gauge how deep you should be squatting, and if your goal is to get deeper in your squat, begin to implement mobility exercises for your ankles, knees, and hips.

Try out your newfound squat depth with these squat variations!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
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