Coach Jesper – Perform Like An Athlete

Perfecting your squats

It was a summer morning in Brussels. The alarm clock ticked from 6:59 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Tommy’s hand went to the alarm to stop it, and he got out of bed to get ready to work out in the park. Thirty minutes later, Tommy was ready to go with a coffee and a water bottle in his hands.

He was drinking his coffee as he walked to the park. The roads had no cars except for a few vans passing by. Tommy felt so peaceful because there was no noise from the traffic, and the streets were empty as everyone was still asleep. It was just Tommy and the dog owners, all heading to the park.

When Tommy passed the gates into the park, he saw Jim, the calisthenics guy, who was already training. Tommy smiled as he got closer to the training area.

Right before entering the training area, Tommy said, “Good morning, Jim. How are you?”

Jim replied, “Good morning, Tommy. I’m good, just starting the day with a workout.”

“That is awesome. It’s always good to start the day this way,” Tommy answered. Tommy placed his water bottle on the ground and began to warm up his legs with some stretches for his hamstrings, quads, and inner thighs. He also combined this with running back and forth, leg circles, and walking lunges.

Tommy felt ready to go and started doing squats. He placed himself in a squat stance position with straight feet, shoulder-width apart. As he began to squat, he felt something weird in his right knee. While Tommy was doing his squats, Jim noticed something was wrong.

Jim asked, “What is wrong, Tommy?”

“It doesn’t feel good in my knee. I think I might have to do some other exercises,” replied Tommy.

Jim said to Tommy, “Let me see how you are doing your squats.” Tommy got back into his squat position and began to do a few more squats. Jim could immediately see that Tommy’s knees were bending inwards as he went up.

“I see why you feel uncomfortable in your knee; your knees are going inwards,” said Jim.

“What can I do about it?” asked Tommy.

“Let me show you,” said Jim. Tommy watched Jim do a few squats. Jim got up and explained, “You want to start in a shoulder-width position with your feet and step a little bit further out. Then you turn your feet 45 degrees outwards. From here, you lean a little bit forward and then go all the way down below your knees. At this point, you want to drive the movement up by squeezing your glutes together.”

Tommy did a few squats as Jim had explained to him and didn’t feel the pain in his knee anymore. “See, your knees are no longer going inwards,” said Jim. He further explained that the squat exercise targets all the muscles in the legs, but usually, people just turn it into a quad exercise by only going down to a 90-degree bend. This way, you will train your quads, hamstrings, calves, inner thighs, and glutes.

Tommy answered, “Yes, I can really feel it in my glutes. Also, my inner thighs feel very weak.”

Tommy continued to do a couple of sets of squats and could really feel how he was targeting his leg muscles. As he continued his workout, he did Nordic curls and tib raises, which had been part of his running training.

When Tommy was done, he yelled to Jim, “Jim, I am leaving. Thank you for the help. See you!”

Jim yelled back to Tommy, “No problem, see you, man!”

back to top button