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I got Jenna to demonstrate the exercises.
Filler exercises are exercises that you can put in between your sets. You can do these exercises quickly between sets so that you are not merely sitting, standing or walking your way to the drinking fountain. Rather, do something that will help to improve your range of motion, prevent injury, enhance performance and much more. These are quick and easy exercises that you can add to your routine.
These three filler exercises will help you achieve pain-free squatting and improve your squat movements.
#1 – Knees to Chest
If you are having difficulty squatting down, lie on the ground to remove your weight or load. Focus on the range of motion in the hips and knees.
Knees to Chest
Bring the knees to the chest and work on the range of motion in the knee and hip in an unloaded position. Perform one set of 5 repetitions in a smooth, controlled movement, holding the end position for a second or two.
Happy Baby Position
If the knees-to-chest exercise is too easy, you can do the “happy baby” position progression exercise. Grab your feet, then pull the knees toward your armpits. This exercise is working less on the knee, but it is challenging the hips much more. You are moving the hips into a deeper position so that you can get a stronger stretch in the hip. Perform one set of 5 repetitions in a smooth, controlled movement, holding the end position for a second or two. You should feel the intensity in your hips.
#2 – Bodyweight Squat
Squat down as deep as you can, focusing on dropping the hips down so that you are working on the maximal range of motion in the hip and knees. Initially, you have your weight shifted back and you push it through your hips. You can also move your weight more forward so that you can work on loosening up the ankles. Perform one set of 5 repetitions in a smooth, controlled movement, holding the end position for a minimum of 2 seconds up to 90 seconds with light intensity.
#3 – Bodyweight Squat With Weight
Bodyweight Squat With Weight
This is a progression to the bodyweight squat, so now we will add load. You can grab a plate, dumbbells or some sort of weight and do a deep squat. We are trying to work on sitting back in the hips and working on improving the joint capsule in the hip. We are looking at stretching around the hip area. Hold the weight with your hands out front, with your elbows between your knees. Perform one set of 5 repetitions in a smooth, controlled movement, holding the end position for at least 2 seconds and then progress up to 90 seconds with light intensity.
Give those three filler exercises plus the progression a go for pain-free squatting.
Rick Kaselj, MS
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