Quick guide to squatting technique

Photography by Pavel Dornak

Poor squatting technique can flag up a higher risk of injury in runners, according to a new study. 84 runners were assessed using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which entails seven tests, and then observed for six months. Overall FMS score was not predictive of injuries, but how the runners fared in a deep squat was. It assesses symmetry, stability and range of motion of the hips, knees and ankles, as well as thoracic-spine mobility – and you can do it at home.

Try this

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes forward. Hold a broomstick on your head (elbows at 90 degrees) and press up. Squat as low as you can, arms straight, heels on the floor and chest forward. Do the move in a controlled manner and ensure your weight is distributed equally. Use the guidelines below to check your form.

1/ Top form if… Your upper torso is parallel to your shins or towards the vertical.

Indicates: Good thoracic mobility.

2/ Top form if… Your thighs can go below horizontal.

Indicates: Good flexion in your hips and knees.

3/ Top form if… Your knees are aligned over your feet, not collapsing inwards.

Indicates: Strong pelvic control.

4/ Top form if… The broomstick is aligned over your feet.

Indicates: Good shoulder and upper back flexibility.

5/ Top form if… Your heels remain on the floor throughout the exercise.

Indicates: Good calf flexibility.