Monday, 22 August 2011
I've been meaning to write an article on the power of the squat for some time now, and as I was completely annihilated at the crack of dawn, with a session of 300 squats, amongst some other ruthless exercises by the infamous Sean Temple at Flux Motion, I felt now was as good a time as any. And anyways this mornings session has subjected me to disability for the remainder of the day.
There is no exercise as invaluable as the squat. In its pure simplicity the squat wins hands down every time. The exercise works practically every muscle in the lower body and executing a natural bodyweight squat improves your mind body connections and mental focus.
Keep in mind that when you see those powerhouses 'klapping gym wif their channas' and the 'okes' are standing around the leg curl machine challenging each other to who can curl the most weight, you can turn and snigger to yourself, knowing that leg curl machines put the hamstrings in the worst possible bio mechanical position for strength, and don't add any muscle power. Its why their suspension is dropped so low on their bakkies, they just don't have the power to extend their weight to the height of a standard vehicle.
Bodyweight squats require no external load and increase your functional strength, your power output and build maximum raw strength and best of all your body recovers quicker between sessions. Bodyweight squats are superior to squatting with a barbell, especially when you start smashing pistol squats out, natural squats blow barbell squats out the water.
When you place a barbell on your upper back it vertically loads the spine with compelling force. It compresses the vertebrae, the discs in your spine and promotes an exaggerated forward lean which will add extended strain to your lower back muscles.
Instead of challenging yourself by loading 200kg onto your spinal column and making yourself look like a complete hero when your body is ailing inside, and you feel you would like to challenge yourself more, do closed squats instead and then eventually move up to mastering the pistol squat.
Perform a pistol squat one after the other at high repetition - now that's a feat of strength, I can promise you now those 'okes' with the juice filled quads will snap a tendon just attempting this challenging exercise.
So take your bar, do something useful with it and shut up and get squatting