If you’ve been lifting weights for a while, you probably know that the squat is one of the most essential lifts. The squat is considered the king of all exercises, and it’s one of the big three movements – squat, bench press, deadlift. How much weight you can squat is a good indicator of your overall strength. The question is: how can you increase your squat?
Fortunately, the squat targets the largest muscle in your body – your gluteus maximus (butt). And your legs host large muscles, so it’s easier to increase the weight on the squat than isolation movements, such as barbell curl, which targets a much smaller group – biceps.
In addition, International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) Physique Pro Anitra Jeffery shares mobility and stability exercises you can add to your regimen to increase your squat. Anitra Jeffery placed in the top five at 2021 Natural Olympia in the Women’s Physique division.
The more mobile you are, the more range of motion you’ll have. Therefore, you’ll be able to squat down lower with heavier weights to build strength and muscle. And if you have more stability, you’ll be able to control more weight.
Anitra Jeffery’s Tips to Increase Your Squat
In an Instagram (IG) post posted by Anitra Jeffery on January 7th, 2022, she stated:
“IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THE STAPLE EXERCISES THAT YOU NEED FOR GAINS, SUCH AS SQUATS AND LUNGES,
DON’T SKIP MOBILITY AND STABILITY TRAINING.
IF YOU KNOW YOU’RE ALWAYS SHORT ON TIME, ADD TO YOUR WARMUPS OR ON YOUR ACTIVE REST DAYS.
INCHWORM—MULTI-JOINT, DYNAMIC EXERCISE; CAN INCREASE STRENGTH AND MUSCULAR ENDURANCE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE BODY- EMPHASIS ON SHOULDERS AND CORE; GREAT STRETCH FOR HAMSTRINGS AND CALVES; CAN WORK ABS BETTER THAN SITUPS AND CRUNCHES
QUADRUPED TORSO TWIST & REACH/T-SPINE ROTATION- INCREASES T-SPINE MOBILITY; OPEN UP CHEST MUSCLES; LOOSEN BACK MUSCLES
BIRDDOG— STRENGTHENS THE CORE AND HIPS; IMPROVES STABILITY, ENCOURAGES A NEUTRAL SPINE, AND RELIEVES LOW BACK PAIN, CAN STRENGTHEN BACK MUSCLES; PROMOTES PROPER POSTURE AND INCREASES RANGE OF MOTION”
Below you can see Anitra Jeffery’s full IG post with clips of her performing each mobility/stability movement.
Mobility and Stability Exercises
Anitra Jeffery asserts that mobility and stability exercises are essential for making progress on your squat. Jeffery recommends inchworm, quadruped torso twist and reaches/T-spine rotation, and bird dogs.
Inchworms strengthen your shoulders and core and make your hamstrings and calves more flexible. In addition, quadruped torso twist and reach/T-spine rotation increases your thoracic mobility (thorax) and prevents lower back pain. Bird dogs also improve lower back pain and strengthen your core and hip stability.
INBA PNBA Physique Division
Anitra Jeffery competes in the Women’s Physique class. Women in the Physique division are scored on symmetry, muscularity, definition, (conditioning), and stage presence. It’s even more critical for athletes in the Physique class to have more muscle mass than other classes such as Bikini Divas, where the competitors are smaller. However, Women’s Bodybuilding contenders store the most muscle.
Having good stability and mobility is imperative for the squat. Make inchworms, quadruped torso twist and reach/T-spine rotation, and bird dogs part of your weekly training plan to add weight to your squat.