The Ultimate Butt Workout – How to Squat Correctly
Looking for a good butt workout? There’s few better than doing a squat with a strong base.
For this video I cover a few tips on how to improve your squatting mechanics, subsequently improving the use of your butt muscles, specifically the gluteus maximus.
If you are incapable of getting into a proper squat position, it likely means you will need to address some imbalance and it is strongly advised you get on a good structural integration program.
A body that is full of restriction will elicit distorted movement patterns (like pointing your toes outward during your squat) simply because it understands that environment.
Does that make it right? Not by a long shot.
Be sure to check out the video above for further details and how to get your squat mechanics right so when can get those butt muscles in full working order.
Train intentionally, not habitually,
Hey guys, this is Naudi Aguilar with Functional Patterns, and for today’s video I’m going to be covering a very popular exercise. It’s gonna be at one of the foundations that I do in my training, and I think it’s the foundation of almost all Functional training programs. The exercise being a squat. Now, this exercise tends to have several different interpretations in terms of how it’s gonna be done. The main one that I’ve found with most people when they talk about it, that the feet are supposed to point outward while you do a squat. I’ve seen people do that like crazy when it comes to their training, and really, so I can give you guys a better understanding of why I think that shouldn’t happen. For one, simply because when a person already sets themselves into kind of a dysfunctional pattern, they’re going to tend to incline themselves to move towards the dysfunctions that they already have already.
So for my people that I’ve found, most of them tend to have some kind of extra rotation to the femurs, which is indicating to me that the glutes are probably operating on a secondary or third function, which is external rotation. So if they are working from this context, it’s going to feel significantly more comfortable to turn your feet outward. The reason I tend to not agree with doing a squat in this specific context, is because I try to prepare the body to move in the transverse plane. I look at the squat as a progression to bring about efficiency in the human body, piece by piece, and the squat’s gonna be one of those. To really help us load that posterior chain, really build a core dynamic while we’re in that context of hip flection.
I see all the benefits of it, but the main thing I look at when it comes to progressing the human body, is that eventually we get them to moving into rotation and even beyond that, hitting multi-plane ballistic movements. And that’s what’s really going to apply when it comes to movement all together. So if you’re training yourself to do a squat for one, while your feet are pointing outwards, you’re actually going to begin to develop neural associations that when you run, when you jump, when you throw something, that your body’s bound mechanical base point is going to be here with your feet pointing outward.
And if we start getting the feet pointing outward while they’re trying to do a toe strike, or even if you’re doing a heel strike when you’re running, you’re going to tend to find all these articulations happening in the joints that are not going to be efficient. This is one of the biggest problems when it comes to training. So I’m going to explain the squat, but just keep in mind when it comes to the foot positioning, the reason I am changing it is simply because I’m trying to correct the dysfunctions created by our environment. And just remember, third function of the gluteus maximus is going to be external rotation.
If we’re involving ourselves in external rotation during a squat, we’re just catering to what we’re comfortable with already, and we’re not actually improving any bound mechanical functions. We look at sprinting, if we look at lateral movement, that should actually stay in place. You don’t want your feet pointing outward on a lateral movement. If you’re moving like this and your foot’s pointed out, you’re gonna have all kind of shearing force that happens in the knee. You need to actually be able to set yourself into position with your foot straight forward.
One more thing to describe before we move on to this exercise, is that when somebody’s knees begin to point outward, oftentimes that means that they probably don’t work very well under rotation, because their anterial oblique system that works directly in conjunction with the abductors that help keep the foot straight forward don’t work very well. So if you find people who work in the sagittal plane like crazy, over and over again, doing dead lifts, power cleans, any types of Olympic lifts where they’re putting a lot of trauma on the body in the sagittal plane, you’ll tend to find this pattern. It’s mainly because they just don’t rotate very well.
So for starters, I want you guys to think about, when you’re doing a squat, a common issue that I find with people is that when they come down to do a squat, the knees are gonna generally tend to jut forward in this position where they kind of shoot forward. Obviously that’s directly going to put a lot of pressure on that patella tendon region, where the femurs are going to kind of be driving directly into that patella tendon. Not going to be good. However, when I correct that imbalance in most people, and I maybe put a chair behind them, or if I just cue it where we do this, what we call a pelvic hinge. Almost where you’re setting yourself into that eccentric phase.
Really loading that posterior chain. What people then sometimes do as a form of compensation, is they get paranoid about the knees going forward, so they actually go to the opposite extreme, where they go here. What I want you guys to think about when it comes to doing this type of an exercise, is that you find the center point. The middle line between all of it. When you do the squat, the knees are kind of going to move forward a slight bit, but not too far. You kind of have to know where to draw the happy medium. The way that I look at it, is that when you do the squat, your shin bones should be parallel to the torso as you come down into that squat position.
You come here, you pull your navel in, you slightly anteriorly tilt the pelvis. This should be neutral with my torso, hopefully if I’m executing this correctly, I get to the top, and you’ll see that’s where I finish. Now, when you get from the bottom position to the top, you’re gonna want to rotate your pelvis posteriorly. That’s gonna ensure we get the posterior chain activated, specifically the glutes and the hamstrings as we’re coming upwards. If you go here, like many people do with their squats, they actually don’t activate their posterior chain, and they begin to rely heavily on the quadriceps during this type of exercise.
So we want to ensure that when you get to the bottom, you go into pelvic flection, or we decelerate with the hamstrings. When you get to the top, you rotate the pelvis posteriorly. I like to incorporate elbow flection as I get to the top, it kind of helps me center myself. I don’t reach out. Most people do this for a squat, if you’re doing this because you’re compensating for an insufficient center of gravity, you should be able to hold this. Almost imagine if you were playing football, being a linebacker, moving back and forth. You don’t want to reach out like this while you’re gonna go tackle somebody. It’s not gonna be very effective, your center of gravity’s going to be forward.
You want your elbows in proximity to your body so you can control your center of gravity. So again, as I give you guys this lateral view once again. I’m going to come down. I extend my hips back, I get to the top, I hit that posterior tilt. Another combination I tend to find when somebody tries to initiate the posterior tilt, is that when they start coming up, they posteriorly tilt and their knees start coming forward. That means that you’re still incorporating too much knee flection at the top. Think that your glutes and your quadriceps should concentrically lower together as you get to the top phase of that squat position.
So that when we get to the eccentric phase, we’re here, we get to the top, the knees extend with the hips at the same time. If we look at a front view, what I should also be looking at, is that the knees are not tracking outward. Everything should pretty much maintain that straight line as we’re moving back and forth through the range of motion. So if you feel like your knees start pronating, or your ankles start pronating, or you see that your knees start going outward or jutting outward laterally, then at that point that means we’re having a problem.
We stay here, boom. And something else that you can also focus on, is keeping your pressure on your heels. It’s very common that when most people come down to do a squat, that when they come down they start putting all their pressure on their toes. And they tend to have a lot of problems, get overloaded in the quads, and really just overloading the calves. Just some of the remnants of the old deficient movement patterns popping up in the body.
So, there’s a basic few tips I can give you on that squat, really just focusing on trying to look for those alignments in the body. And if this does feel as if it’s a little strange to you to come into this range of motion, it likely means that you probably have a lot of muscular restriction. Probably in your hip flexors, your hamstrings, your core. Pretty much everywhere. And in the videos that I covered doing the mile fast release, it should help you transition into this position. And in terms of the squat depth, this is a very common and very controversial subject matter.
I will say, if you want to train for mobility, it’s great to be here and hit that deep squat. However, if you’re trying to train for strength, you work from 90 degree lever. If you just take your tricep, and you bring your arm all the way back. Just think about it this way. If I push my hand back, and I fight it with my tricep from this range of motion, which is past 90 degrees. I will not be very strong. If I get to that 90 degree point and I extend outward, that tricep gets a lot of power. Same thing with the squat, if I come down, and I get too low, I lose my strength because now the lever between this knee joint right here is not going to be very strong. You must hit that 90 degree point so you can get power.
So in terms of mobility, it’s great to do a squat, to be all the way down here. However, you don’t want to be putting 200 pounds of weight on your back while you’re doing this, it’s not really going to promote anything efficient. Oftentimes, for people that get away with that, they have to go back into that external rotation to get there. For me as you guys will see, I have no problem with getting into a deep squat and bringing my legs outward, even though I train myself to be here. I’m training from a center, if I train from a center, I should have efficiency to squat in any range of motion for the most part while I’m just sitting here.
So I hope you guys found that video to be useful. If you did, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, because I will be putting up more videos in the near future. Also visit my website, I have a ton of information on there. Very useful for you if you’re trying to bridge the gap between dysfunctionality and functionality with your human body. This is Naudi Aguilar reminding you to live intentionally, and not habitually. I’ll see you guys next time.