One very important observation to make when watching athletes squat is seeing if they initiate with the hips back. The only bilateral knee dominate movement we have with our athletes (especially our younger ones) is the goblet squat. I think Dan John made this popular because the goblet position (dumbbell held at the chest) makes almost any horrible squat form more effective. Dave Tate said, “Technique is the most important factor in squatting big weights. If you’re training with bad technique then it doesn’t matter what supplemental exercises you use or how many sets or reps you perform. Your squat will only go so far and then get stuck. This article will describe the correct technique for performing the box squat. I feel the box squat is the best way to train the squat, period. The form is the same as the regular squat but with the added bonus of being able to develop explosive strength. The box squat also places all the stress directly on all the squatting muscles.” This was taken from an article he wrote on box squatting. Teaching younger athletes, even upper level athletes who have a tendency to drop from the knees instead of the hips in paramount. I am not talking about box squatting, but one great tool to use if someone is “knee dominant” in their goblet squat technique is to have them stand an inch or two in front of the bench and have them sit back, tap their butt on the bench (completely controlled) on the way down. I feel that every athlete I have used this with (if i was not comfortable with how they performed these) almost immediately got the form. People may tend to have anterior knee pain for a variety of reasons and squatting is typically blamed for this, but teaching the hips to sit back can really help these issues subside. A few reasons I love using the bench as well..
- Depth is consistent. Inconsistency can be seen with some younger athletes as they fatigue and the bench just helps reinforce the depth they need.
- Quality squat technique is reinforced every time.
- Knee pain can be avoided allowing maintaining training effect (this is critical: always ways to work around pain or injury!)
Here is the video of what I would do with an athlete. With the goblet squat we would just incorporate holding the dumbbell at chest height.