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  • Published on:  Sunday, April 14, 2019
  • The squat is one of the most important exercises you can include in your leg training. That said, if you experience knee pain while doing it or just don’t have the strength you think you should with this staple leg exercise, then you need to watch this video. I’m going to show you one thing you need to do before any squat that will instantly help you decrease knee discomfort and put more weight on the bar as you realize your true strength.The effectiveness of this relies on the dysfunctional recruitment of the posterior chain (namely the glutes and hamstrings) that most of us have from muscle imbalances we have developed over time. When you perform a squat you need to be able to load the muscles on the back side of our bodies to handle as much weight as we are capable of. All too often, we tend to shift the load too much to the anterior chain muscles which winds up hurting our knees and limiting the amount of weight we can lift.There are two major requirements of a properly performed squat biomechanically. You need to have proper amounts of knee flexion and hip flexion. One without the other can lead to one ugly looking squat. That said, if you can marry the two and optimize the contributions of each you are going to have a squat that is not only capable of handling maximal loads but is going to do so as safely as possible on your joints.That said, since we know the squat is a glute driven movement it makes sense that in order to neurologically wake up the posterior chain we would want to perform a quick warmup with an exercise that does so directly. In this case, it’s a weighted glute bridge or a barbell hip thrust depending on your available hip range of motion and level of training experience.I like to start everyone on the floor if they have not done this exercise prior to squats before. The key to the effectiveness of the movement is that it trains the glutes to be the primary driver of hip extension while working in concert with the hamstrings (which is their secondary function). With both the knees and hips in flexion, we are better mimicking the true function of the lower body during the squats.When you perform your weighted bridge you want to be sure that you are feeling the hinge take place in your hips. A lot of times, the proprioceptive awareness of what true hip hinging should feel like is lacking. This leads to an overreliance on the quads to try and take the brunt of the load on the squat. After performing the bridge however, the glutes are more prepared to allow the posterior loading of the body during the descent. Likewise, the hamstrings are more alert to their role as eccentric controllers of hip flexion during the down portion of the squat and are therefore more capable of giving you stability that you have not had.On the way up, the activation of the glutes provides you with keys to the ignition of the main driver of the ascent on the squat. While the quads are important for getting out of the hole, it’s the glutes that are primarily responsible (with their immense strength capacity) for getting you up and out with minimal disruption to your bar path. Those with weak glutes will demonstrate ugly looking squat form out of the whole. Often times, these guys and gals will lurch their bodies forward, raising the hips and shifting the load to their low backs to compromise for their weaknesses in the glutes. Over time, this will lead to chronic low back pain and is completely avoidable.A couple sets of 6-8 reps of the barbell glute bridge or barbell hip thrust with a 4 second hold at the top is enough to warm up the body to perform the squat to your maximum potential. Neurologically this will allow you to tap into strength reserves you never knew you had all while building up your volume over time through your other leg training on the glutes and posterior chain muscles.If you are looking for a step by step program that never overlooks the importance of the glutes when it comes to athletic performance and obtaining your most powerful physique, head to the link below and check out the ATHLEAN-X Training System.For more videos on how to build a bigger squat as well as the best way to strengthen your glutes and avoid red flags for weak glute development, be sure to subscribe to our channel at the link below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a video when it’s published.


    ATHLEAN-X™  4 months ago +613

    NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them :) Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck!
    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  • D Bechtel
    D Bechtel  1 months ago +117

    Thumbnail= Felt cute, might squat later, I dunno

  • ap5170
    ap5170  4 months ago +380

    Is he watching me workout? Because he keeps posting about things I’m lacking on....🤔

  • jordan sheppard
    jordan sheppard  2 months ago +97

    I started saving these videos to a playlist and eventually i was just literally saving every single one. Great channel.

  • Avi Selah
    Avi Selah  4 months ago +50

    I’ve been watching bodybuilders and trainers for years on YouTube and Jeff is honestly the most REAL and genuine guy you will ever find, I promise. I had shoulder issues in the past, and I took his advice and they are healed and a lot stronger thanks to Jeff. One of the only person which actually understands the anatomy of the body and truly knows what he is talking about. No shortcuts, no bullshit! Keep it up Jeff!

  • Vasyl Hi-Tech Lomachenko
    Vasyl Hi-Tech Lomachenko  4 months ago +102

    Jeff do a video on combating belly button fluff

  • Yinunna
    Yinunna  3 months ago +95

    I started hip thrusts (against a bench) before my squats a couple of weeks ago as I think my glutes were not developed enough, making my squats weak and too much forward. I am starting to see a difference in my form now and feel my glutes much more. I am glad your video shows I had the right instinct. I started banded hip thrusts yesterday and will try your way of putting the feet together. Thanks for the advice!

  • Elmo 3
    Elmo 3  4 months ago +208

    Being a physiotherapist student myself, makes these videos so much more interesting. He does and excellent job explaining concepts to anyone not anatomy intellected!!

  • Arbaz Ahmed
    Arbaz Ahmed  4 months ago +128

    Face Pull before squats and my squats improved from 100kg to 130kg 😂

  • Jonathon Jones
    Jonathon Jones  2 months ago +38

    What happened Jeff? You're wearing a t-shirt?

  • HGaho
    HGaho  4 months ago +97

    Jeff embracing the face pull meme is so great.

  • Brunark
    Brunark  4 months ago +49

    I'll take any reason to do more air humpers in the gym.

  • MusaAbdullah425
    MusaAbdullah425  3 months ago +8

    Hey Jeff, you should really do an Athlean X certification training program for trainers.

  • Damian Hodges
    Damian Hodges  4 months ago +5

    It's like the Iron Gods knew it was legs today! Thanks Jeff, I needed this jewel!!! 💪💪💪

  • Teacher Phill
    Teacher Phill  2 months ago +8

    There is definitely a reason why this is the biggest fitness channel on YouTube. Thanks for all the good stuff!

  • Khamba Rajatdeep Singh
    Khamba Rajatdeep Singh  3 months ago +1

    Short & to the point... Marvelous as always...keep up the good work man..!! Love from India💪🏻

  • HOLLYWOOD UNAPOLOGETIC! - Filmmaking Essentials

    Right on! Thank you, Jeff!

  • Mateja Milanovic
    Mateja Milanovic  4 months ago +331

    Do 1 set of face pulls before each set of squats and you will be amazed how every knee pain you have goes away!
    You're welcome!

  • Suman Mishra
    Suman Mishra  1 months ago +4

    Been struggling with squats. Such an aha moment! Love it when someone can explain things simply yet scientifically. Jeff's work is gold.

  • Capt.Playitall.
    Capt.Playitall.  4 months ago +52

    I clicked to add whatever this was to my home workout lmao.