| Article written on August 7th, 2015 at 8:50am | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
The lateral squat is a great foundational exercise to learn movement in the frontal plane. The frontal plane is anything in the lateral direction, where we are moving side to side. Most of what we practice is sagittal-based, which are all the forward and backwards movements and exercises. But, moving in different planes of motion is essential in developing proper functional movement patterns, especially for athletes and those changing directions rapidly.
The lateral squat targets muscles of the lower limb, including: quadriceps, gluteals, and adductors. A big benefit of the lateral squat is mobilizing the hip and lengthening the adductors on the lowering portion. If you notice restriction in the adductors that prevents adequate lowering in this exercise, the adductor rocking mobility drill is a great supplement to gain the mobility needed.
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How to perform this exercise:
- While using a line on the floor, offset your feet so the heel of one leg and the toe of the other are on the same line
- Ensure you have a wide base around 1.5-2x hip width and the feet are slightly turned out
- Begin the exercise by shifting the hip backwards towards the front foot side
- Lower down until the thigh is parallel to the ground, while straightening the other leg
- To drive up, push away from the ground with the lateral of the foot and hip
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions
Note: The offset foot position is essential to allow sitting back into the hip in a loaded position. Not only are the legs important, but ensure you maintain a tall spine, with the chest up. Oftentimes, you may see the back leaning forward as a compensation for lack of hip mobility. The back moves instead of the legs to give the appearance that the person is lowering down towards the ground.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART