CrossFit is a challenging sport for recreational and competitive athletes. It requires strength, power and technical skills for Olympic lifting. Having been a Crossfit athlete for many years, I have areas that require specific training to ensure continued improvement. All athletes need to continue to train specifically to focus on improving their weakness. This is the difference between the best athletes and the average!
The squat is the foundation lift in Crossfit. A strong squat means better Olympic lifts. A strong squat relies on great mobility. To achieve a great squat, you must have flexibility in four key areas; the ankle joint, the knee joint, the hip joint and the low back. If one of the four key regions in the body is restricted and lacks mobility, then the squat will inefficient.
As a Crossfit physiotherapist, I screen athletes and identify the individual’s key movement restrictions. I have worked with many athletes that worked on mobility without results. This, is often due to not targeting the correct areas. Crossfit physiotherapists can screen each joint involved in the squat and compare your mobility to normal data for your age and sex.
Finding your mobility restriction or weakest body region gives you a target for improvement. For example, you may have poor mobility in the ankle so this should be your focus rather than the hip and back.
The best warm-up for the squat is a dynamic warm up. Whilst static stretching may be seen as unfashionable, it is a key component of improving your squat. A sports physiotherapist will ensure that your recovery process involves static stretching. Again, it will be focused to your specific areas of poor mobility!
If you are struggling with your squat or you just want to improve your performance, make sure that you have the right program and you are targeting the key areas to ensure that you are reaching your full potential!