Paleo Fitness Squatting Skill Drills

The deep squat, if you don’t already have it, can be a hard movement to regain. But if you practice these skill drills diligently — diligently being the most important word here — you can reclaim this movement. Don’t expect to restore your squat overnight, over a couple days, or even over a couple weeks. Just be patient; it will come.

Primal pole dancing

The purpose of this drill is to find something to assist you into the deep squat position. You can use just about any object that’s waist height or higher — a pole or a door are both perfectly suitable:

  1. Grab hold of the pole or door and use it to help wedge yourself down into a deep squat.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

    If someone is available, you may use a partner for this drill as well. Just have the person hold onto your hands to counterbalance you as you move into a deep squat.

  2. When you hit rock bottom, drive your knees and shins forward while keeping your heels glued to the ground.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

    This action will help mobilize what often restricts your squat — your ankles — but it only works if you keep your heels on the ground. Work this for as many repetitions as necessary.

  3. Spend as much time in the bottom of the squat position as you want.

The frog stretch

The frog stretch unglues the hips and is a great way to mimic the squat without actually squatting. All you need to perform the frog stretch is a piece of ground. Follow these steps:

  1. Get down on your hands and knees, lining your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

  2. Set your back flat if it isn’t already and spread your knees out as wide as you possibly can.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer
  3. Drop down onto your forearms and begin to drive your hips backward.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

    If you are having trouble with rounding your back, you may want to exaggerate the arch in your low back for this movement.

  4. Continue to drive the hips back until you start to feel the stretch; hold it, breathe, and try to relax into a deeper range of motion.

    When stretching, the goal is to relax, not to force anything open. Spend as much time in the frog stretch as you need; the longer, the better.

  5. To come out of the stretch, slowly drive your hips forward and bring your knees back together.

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