Incase you missed part 2 in the series check it out here.
As a review In this 3 part series we are going to cover execution. scaling and programming of a few popular lower body, bodyweight exercises
Why Bodyweight Exercises for the Lower Body?
While I feel the best way to develop strength and explosiveness for the lower body is through squatting and pulling, there is an extremely neglected component with these exercises in building balance, coordination and useable mobility.
If you are truly interested in health and longevity those components are just as important as strength and explosiveness.
We are continuing with my favorite unconventional squat variation to strengthen the knees!
Whatever variation you are working, this is being performed on the balls of your feet. Immediately making it extremely quad dominant as well as introducing a balance and coordination component, often neglected in other forms of squatting.
Not only do sissy squats do a tremendous job of strengthening the connective tissue of the knees, but when performed correctly they also require a good amount of hip and spinal extension as well as toe mobility and intrinsic foot strength.
When progressing to the full variation it is good to keep in mind what the movement mechanic standards we are striving for. The goal is to maintain a straight line from the knees, hips and shoulders throughout the entire range of motion. Meaning you want to avoid piking the hips.
Whichever variation you are working of the Sissy Squat, there are a few areas of you body best to warm-up prior to getting started, in order to get the most out of the movement.
Sissy Squat Warm-up (2-3 cycles)
Balance work x 30-60 seconds/side
Diagonal Stretch x 10 reps/side
Toe Stretch x 10 reps + 30 second hold
Balance: Just like any other component needs to be warmed up prior to training. When was the last time you or your athletes trained balance?
Diagonal stretch: This movement combines spinal extension, hip extension and balance. Should be self explanatory why we are placing this in the warm-up
Toe Stretch: Not often, if ever are individuals stretching their toes. Lack of toe mobility more than anything else tends to prevent people from maintain that straight body line throughout the movement.
Sissy Squat Variations
Version 1: Sissy Squat Version One (toes)
Version 2: Sissy Squat Version Two (open up)
Version 3: Sissy Squat Version Three (Counter)
Version 4: Sissy Squat Version Four (Eccentric)
Version 5: Sissy Squat Version 5 (Partials)
These generally can be placed in the beginning of a lower body strength day. In my own experience, I like placing them after the general warm-up prior to the primary exercises of the day. I have found by the end of these my balance and mobility are primed to go into something such as heavy back squats or Olympic lifting. A great place to start is choosing a variation that allows you to accomplish 25 quality reps in under 20 minutes,
Be on the lookout for a Sissy Squat Vlog later this week!