Dr. Aaron Horschig, DPT, of Squat University, wants you to have perfect squat form. He already addressed how to adjust your squat stance based on your anatomy. Now, he's focusing on how to correct any shifting or twisting movements that may occur when you squat.
"In today's video, I'm going to teach you how to fix a problem squat, like a weight shift or twist during your squat, by focusing on tibial rotation (the amount of rotation in your shins, your tibia bones)," he says.
He explains what that means.
"Whenever you set up for your squat and move down, you need a symmetrical amount of tibial rotation in order to sit into a good deep squat," he says. "And if you're limited on one side on how much that tibia can rotate, it's going to cause you to shift over to the better side." As you squat, Horschig explains, the tibia is internally rotating and tilting laterally.
He has a simple screen for how you can clean up that tibial mobility.
Sit in a chair and hold one leg steady as you test how much you can internally rotate your foot. He demonstrates this on his friend Ed, who clearly cannot rotate his right leg as much as the left. When Ed squats, he can't sink as deep into the right side where he has limited tibial rotation, and shifts more to his left leg. To fix this, Dr. Horschig has a corrective exercise.
He places a resistance band underneath the base of Ed's toe on the side that lacks rotation. Keeping the foot stable, Ed applies pressure to the band and drives the knee out to the side, creating tibial rotation. When his knee goes out, he squeezes his glutes for 10 seconds.
"In this position, we're creating the stable foot and the ideal tibial rotation that we need in a deep squat, hip flexed position, and his lateral glutes are maintaining the integrity in the optimal position that we want," says Dr. Horschig. "People that are doing this will feel that lateral glute muscle (glute medius) working hard because it's pulling your hip out tot he side, that abduction external rotation."
From there, you can shift your knee forward for a knee-over-toe stance to work on using your ankle mobility with the correct amount of tibial rotation. Hold this for 10 seconds as well.
After that, re-check that amount of rotation you have in your tibia. It should improve. From there, you can also test it out in your squat.
"Improving tibial rotation can allow your body to sink down a little bit more symmetrically and optimize your squat technique. Often we look at the hips and ankles, but we don't often think tibial rotation," says Dr. Horschig.
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