3 Squat Tune Ups for Warming Up and Lifting Heavy

Andy McKenzie


Strength and Conditioning, Bodyweight Exercise, Mobility & Recovery


Andy McKenzie is an expert in bodyweight and core training. This week, he shows you a warm up exercise to bolster a crucial strength lift: the squat. It involves mobilising in the squat position. After all, if you want to improve a movement, the best way is to spend more time working on mobilisations that use similar positions, and less time working on the individual muscles involved.


  • Begin by sinking into a deep bodyweight squat. Place one hand behind you and lean back, then straighten out your leg on the same side. Whether you can touch your ankle, calf, or knee to the ground, stretch as much as you can. Remember to keep the other leg stable, though - it should be in the same stance as if you are actually squatting.
  • Swing the extended leg behind you and place the knee on the ground so that you are in a lunge. Keep your chest tall and lean forward to stretch your back hip flexor.
  • When you are ready, sit back. Your other leg should be straight now, and you should feel the stretch in your hamstring.


These three positions are easy to flow through in any order. Together, they work on your hips, hamstrings, and quads - pretty much every muscle involved in the squat. You don't need to move from one isolation stretch to the next, and this routine proves it. Add these drills to your workouts and mobility work, and watch your squat become stronger.


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