Relieve pain, prevent injury, and increase performance. Get customized mobility coaching developed by Dr. Kelly Starrett.
You say that you don’t think that you can squeeze the glutes the whole way down. Does that mean that you should let them relax? Or should you still try and keep as much contraction and tension in them as possible throughout the entire squat movement?
I get that it’s difficult to squeeze them throughout the whole movement. I experience that challenge. But I find that the movement “flows” better if I try to keep that tension throughout. I also find that focusing on squeezing the sphincter in addition to the glutes further influences a proper “flow” of motion.
Lastly, if I don’t try and squeeze my glutes towards the bottom position of a squat, I find it very difficult for my hamstrings to be able to keep my shins vertical in a stable fashion. I also feel that the attempt to squeeze the glutes helps to keep that pelvis being pulled downward. It’s almost as if the glutes are what’s pushing the pelvis down and under, and the hamstrings are pulling the shins backwards. Because if I don’t try and engage my glutes, my pelvis feels like it doesn’t get pulled down.
Ultimately I think it’s actually a combination of glute and hamstring engagement that keeps the pelvis in good position, but both of those need to be engaged.
Maybe I’m thinking about it wrong, but I always thought that you shouldn’t let anything “loosen” throughout the squat movement. Which tells me that I should keep trying to squeeze the glutes – regardless of how difficult or successful it is.
I could be wrong about this, so please share your thoughts. I definitely agree with the external rotation focus on the femurs.