Falling forward in the squat is a fault I commonly see. The limitations that lead to this can cause decreased strength, plateaus and potential injury.
The reasons people lean forward in the squat is due to lack of mobility or stability.
The question is, how do you determine which it is, and what can you do to correct the issue if this happens to you?
How To Screen Yourself
1. Check Your Ankles
- Make a fist and place it up against a wall.
- Bring your toes to your hand - this will make your toes roughly 4 inches from the wall.
- Without letting your heels come up, bring your knees towards the wall. Be careful you don't let you hip move out to the side in the process.
- If you make it to the wall, you can assure yourself that your ankles are mobile enough for squatting.
2. Check Your Hips
- Start in quadruped (on your hands and knees).
- Arch your back as much as you can so that you are in full extension of your spine.
- From here, sit back onto your heels as far as you can until you feel your spine start to flex.
- Check your hip depth.
- If you are past 90 degrees and can't squat without falling forward, you can safely say you have a stability problem.
- If you can't get to 90 degrees, you can safely say that you have a mobility problem (an issue we will not be solving here today).
If you have lack of ankle mobility, you can read a previous post I wrote here.
If the above tests lead you to the conclusion that you have a stability problem, the following exercises will help improve your forward lean:
1. Over Head RNT Squat
- Attach a band to a fixed object such as a squat rack.
- Pull the band into an overhead position enough that you feel a light tension pulling your arms forward.
- Squat for prescribed number of reps maintaining tension on the band at all times.
2. KB Front Squats
- Bring two kettlebells into the "rack" position.
- Maintaining tension in the armpits and upper back, squat down without letting your elbows drop in height.
- Repeat for designated reps.
Understanding where your dysfunction is coming from allows you to correct your movement impairments faster without the guess work. Assess yourself, before you wreck yourself. Because if you aren't assessing, you're merely guessing.
Questions, comments, concerns let me know in the comments section!
Move Well. Stay Strong.