Squat Mobility & Motor Control for an Upright Torso


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, September 3, 2014

he fourth point of performance (upright torso) requires flexibility in the ankles and hip flexors. If elevating your heels with a change plate helps you keep your torso upright – improve your ankle dorsiflexion. The ‘ball under foot’ exercise for the plantar fascia restores the tissue on the bottom of the foot. This helps improve ankle dorsiflexion because the plantar fascia  (connective tissue) merges with the achilles tendon continuing up into the calf muscle – forming a continuous line of pull that supports ankle motion.

The hip flexor assessment will help you determine if your quads and/or psoas (deep hip flexor) are tight on each side. The pictured stretch for psoas releases the deep hip flexor and associated connective tissue down to the hip.

While flexibility is required for an upright torso, sometimes motor control is the issue. If holding a plate in front improves your form, use the plate loaded front squat and goblet squat to improve core engagement and stability. Athletes with poor motor control will sometimes mistake the issue as a flexibility limitation when what they need is to groove the pattern with a light weight for better squat mechanics.

These three components play a big factor in maintaining an upright torso, along with good hip flexibility, which you can revisit here.

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™
Upright-Torso-Squat-Fix Upright-Torso-Squat-Test

5 Rounds
100 Meter easy row
100 Meter hard row
Hamstrings and glutes
Pistol practice
5 Rounds with 90 seconds rest between rounds
LIFE: 10 Straight leg deadlift + 5 burpee broad jump
FITNESS & SPORT: 10 Deadlift with ascending weight each set + 5 burpee broad jump