A Yoga Flow for Squat Newbies

Squatting big weight must start with a proper bodyweight squat, and there is a process to get you to that solid foundation.

Everyone wants to squat with big weight, but a bodyweight squat with sound movement patterns is a prerequisite. While it sounds simple, is quite challenging. It’s where we are going to ground our training if you are just beginning your adventure in squatting.

With nothing to stabilize you and gravity pulling you towards the ground, figuring out how to coordinate your joints and move downward in an efficient way requires a number of things to happen.

The most common challenges I see for people are:

  • The inability to differentiate between the spine and the hips
  • Lack of strength or motor control during hip flexion
  • Lack of adequate ankle mobility
  • An inability to sense the way the foot interacts with the floor

The routine below addresses each of these areas.

By beginning with cat/cow, you will feel what it’s like when your spine moves; this makes it easier to keep it still. From there, you move into variations of hip flexion, performing the movement on hands and knees. Eventually you will move all of the way up to the squat, developing the strength and coordination to flex your hips in various positions.

The ankle mobility drill in down dog teaches controlled and isolated ankle joint dorsiflexion, and the half-kneeling lunge variation teaches how the foot interacts with the ground while the hip moves forward and back.

This sequence takes 5-10 minutes to perform, and is an excellent warm up before a squat workout.