When it comes to gaining glute strength with squats, depth matters — a lot. But building squat depth doesn't happen at the barbell. On the contrary, adding resistance should be the last step of the equation.
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Improving your lower-body mobility and squat mechanics are key if you want to deepen your squat. New York-based trainer Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner and founder of TS Fitness, guarantees these five mobility moves will help you drop your squat low — the right way.
1. Prying Squat
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Push your hips back and lower into a squat, bending at your knees.
- Tuck your pelvis and squat as low to the ground as possible, keeping your feet rooted into the ground.
- Bring your hands to prayer position in front of your chest and press your elbows into your inner thighs to open up the hips.
- Hold here.
As you sit in this low squat, think about pushing your knees out and keeping your spine neutral. Feel free to stand up and shake your legs out as needed, gradually increasing your time at the bottom of the squat.
2. Child's Pose With Thoracic Spine Rotation
- Start on the ground on your hands and knees.
- Sit your hips back toward your heels and with your feet tucked, rest your butt on your heels.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you along the floor.
- Bring your right hand behind your head, bending at the elbow.
- Holding the rest of your body still, raise your elbow up toward the ceiling, rotating slightly.
- Pause for a moment, then lower your elbow back down to head height.
- Once you finish all your reps on one side, switch to the other side.
3. Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
- Begin kneeling on the floor with knees hip-width apart, back tall.
- Keeping your left knee in place, bring your right heel about a foot in front of your body, forming a 90 degree angle with the front knee.
- Slowly lean forward, tucking your pelvis under until you feel a stretch along the front of your left hip.
- Hold here and then switch sides.
As you shift your weight forward in this stretch, avoid leaning your torso forward. Instead, use the pelvic tilt to increase the stretch on your hip.
4. 90/90 Hip Stretch
- Sit on the ground with one knee bent in front of you at 90 degrees and one knee bent behind you at 90 degrees.
- Lift both knees up and turn to face the leg behind you, keeping your heels planted on the ground.
- Switch back and forth 10 times.
5. Wall Ankle Stretch
- Come into a lunge facing a wall, your front toes touching the wall.
- Lean toward your front leg, pressing the front knee forward until it touches the wall and you feel a stretch in your ankle.
- Pause here for a moment, then return to the starting position.
- Once you perform all reps on one side, switch legs.