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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Today's feature exercise: The Snake Squat


Great Variation on the Basic Squat! Available in many of the US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning Programs

The Snake Squat exercise is a squatting technique that uses variations in the width of your stance to develop strength at various leg positions. This helps to maximize functional strength so that you can generate power whether your legs are close or wide! The Snake Squat is simple to understand. On the first set of your squat workout place your feet 6-8 inches closer than your normal squat position. On the second set place your feet in your normal squat position. On the third set place your feet 6-8 inches wider than your normal squat position. On the fourth set you would come back to the close squat position. If your workout only calls for 3 sets of squats you would complete one full Snake Squat sequence. If your workout has 6 sets of squats you would complete 2 sequences of the Snake Squat. Do not add sets to your workout. Just alternate your stance from close to normal to wide until the required number of sets are completed. Here are the fundamental squat techniques whether your feet are close or wide: Position the bar in a comfortable position across your trapezius muscle area. We recommend this "high bar" position because it promotes flexibility in the hips, it provides for a more balanced work output from the hips, glutes, quads and hamstrings, and it keep the torso in a more upright position lessening the stress to the lower back. However, if you are a competitive power lifter you will want to place the bar across your lower trapezius muscles and the posterior deltoid muscles. This "low bar" position moves the weight closer to your center of gravity and allows for a greater weight to be lifted but it also forces more of a forward lean of yor torso which can be stressful to your lower back! Your stance in the basic squat position should be slightly wider than your shoulders. The distance between your feet should be measured from your heels, not your toes. Your feet should be angled slightly outward. Begin the squat by inhaling deeply and moving your hips backward like you are going to sit in a chair. Your knees should then bend and travel in the direction that your toes are pointing. Don't let your knees wiggle from side to side or go into a knock-kneed position during the movement. This can place stress on your knee joint. Maintain a stable posture with your head and chest up as your slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. For maximal development you can squat lower than the parallel position but your must be prepared physically before attempting the lower, Olympic squat position. Exhale as your drive out of the bottom position. Never forcefully lock your knees at the completion of the lift. Keep them slightly bent to remove pressure to the lower back. The squat exercise is a tremendous developer of leg strength and size. But, it must be done correctly to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of injury. Always use an experienced spotter while performing the squat exercise.

View a video of this exercise



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US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning

US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning

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