October’s first tutorial takes on the art of squatting with a little twist. The lean back squat that we are covering today is a great way to warm up the hip extensor muscles. It also will improve hip mobility for increased exercise and sports performance. Here is how to perform it.
The lean back squat is a great way to warm up the hip and back extensors.
It can be used as a warm-up or cool-down exercise to improve hip joint mobility.
Set the bar to chest height and stand behind it.
Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, lean back until your arms are straight, and walk your feet forward until you are under the bar. This is the start position to perform the lean back squat.
Slowly drop the hips towards your feet (as if squatting) – keeping your arms straight throughout.
Engage the glutes and drive the hips back to the start position. Breathe deeply during the movement.
Repeat for repetitions or time.
A large number of exercises and sport-specific movements require an optimal range of motion and control in hip extension. The lean back squat provides a minimally-loaded, low-risk option to mobilise the hips, as well as improve control of movement. With this in mind, it’s not just a functional warm-up or cool-down exercise. It can also be useful for those recovering from injury or in need to activate the hip extension mechanism.
The real purpose of this exercise lies in return to standing. The focus should be on engaging the glutes to drive the hip extension.
Therefore, at the bottom of the movement, squeeze the glutes hard to drive the hips upwards. Try not to pull the bar to drive the hips, instead work on activating the glutes and pushing the feet into the floor.
During the process of muscle activation, it is essential to use low loads, often with higher repetitions. This will allow you to slow down the movement and focus on control. The result is better activation and increased circulation to that area.