Squat Compensations - How Do I Fix Them?

Squats are an excellent exercise for the lower body. They can also tell us a lot about how our bodies move too.

Our feet, hips, spine, torso, and head all need to line up and move relative to each other during the squat to make it effective. When there are limitations in the body, we can create compensations to make the squat still look "good" but possibly ineffective.

How do you know if you are creating a compensated or effective squat? We will expose the common compensations below

There are many squat compensations, but the ones shown in the video below are the most commonly seen in our clinic. They include "the butt going back," "knees back on the ascent," "heels off the ground," "the buttwink," and "the dive bomb." 

Even these compensations have their own variations. We create these compensations primarily because our center of mass is​ pushed too far forward and/or we can not control it well as we move through space. We make specific compensations depending on where we have restrictions in our bodies. 

Below are a few ways we can fix our squat patterns by manipulating the load distribution and stances to better control our bodies and center of mass in space. 

There were a lot of fixes in that video, and below is a quick reference guide on how you can identify where you need to start and how to progress it.

If you cannot stop your compensations in a squat with heel elevations or box squats, you will want to first move to split stances. The numerical order is the hierarchy of progressions based on the video above. You want to start at the most challenging position you can most competently complete before progressing.

1. Band-Assisted Heel Elevated Split-Squat
2. Band- Assisted Front Foot Elevated Split-Squat
3. Band- Assisted Split-Squat
4. Band- Assisted Box Squat
5. Band- Assisted Heel Elevated Squat
6. Band-Assisted Squat
7. Heel Elevated Split-Squat
8. Front Foot Elevated Split-Squat
9. Split-Squat
10. Same Progressions of Split-Squats from 7-8, but with a goblet and front load
11. Box Squat (Then progress to front load)
12. Heel Elevated Squat (Then progress to front load)
13. Squat (Then progress to front load)

This should help get you on the right track to fixing your squat issues. If you have more questions or simply want help with your squat. Email us at staff@dynamicprri.com now with the subject line "Fix my squat".