How to get a more powerful squat even during an injury
You’re so close to a personal best or you are in the best shape of your life and you are a month out from the beach and all of a sudden, BAM! You get injured. It’s a lower body injury on the inside of the thigh.
Or at least you think it’s on the inside, however it could be the back of it. Either way, for a moment, you feel fear, because your life is either fitness or sport and without it, you’re lost.
For most, this can be just as deflating as the disintegration or loss of a relationship. In fact, for many, it is.
So, now what? Well, the first thing you do is ice it and then take a day or so off (maybe more) to allow for the inflammation to subside. Depending on the injury and whether or not you are familiar enough with your body, it may be advised to get it checked out.
How to still Squat while recovering from Injury
Because I mentioned a lower body injury, we are going to assume it’s a hamstring or adductor (inner thigh) injury. These are quite common in lifting and can be caused by excessive loading, squatting to an untrained squat depth or using improper technique.
In getting power for lifting one of the best ways is to do partial squats. A partial squat (there are various ways to do one) can be done by setting your self in a squat cage just a few inches or more lower than you would if you were to set up your bar to do a regular squat.
Once the bar is set in that position, you get under it, align your body in the correct position and stand up.
You then slowly lower it (however in this case maybe not as slow due to the injury), and once it strikes the pins, you then, repeat.
Now, because the injury is inhibiting us from going deeper, we have to greatly reduce the range, to even a 2-3 inches and then add a lot more weight.
What? But I’m Injured, And You Want More Weight On My Squat
Yes! The lower you go on a squat the more the groin and hamstring must work to support the weight. And if you can’t do that, the next best thing is to load the body without squatting. This will have a HUGE positive impact on your ligaments and tendons which, once you are 100% again, and will allow you hold all the gains you’ve built up or even allow you to squat heavier than before!
Wait Though, You Might Have To Change Your Squat Stance
There are two groups of people who squat when it comes to the position of the feet. Those who have a closed stance (feet facing forward) and those who have an open stance (femur turned out a bit, toes pointed slightly away).
When doing a regular partial, you are able to stick with your regular stance, however if you are injured and still want to squat, then you will want to adopt a closed stance, or just a tiny bit open to allow you to move the weight without straining the groin.
You will also want to narrow your stance if you squat wide, as the combination wide stance and rotated hip (open stance) require huge support from the medial (inside) hamstring muscles and as well the abductor group (groin).
After you’ve read the rest of this, come back to this video I made to help you perform a squat
This, is most likely the reason why the injury developed in the first place because we rely on those muscle greatly when we squat.
How Much Weight Can I Put On The Bar?
That all depends on the type of injury and the skill of the lifter. To do a partial squat with more weight than you were lifting when squatting to parallel, is the goal, yet you would require a great understanding of your body, the partial and the muscle activation patterns.
In truth, it’s going to be a judgement call on your end, and if you’re new to the sport, or looking to continually, learn, be sure to research first with smart information before loading up a partial when injured.