As we established in the previous feature on the preparatory Swiss Ball Wall Squat, good technique is essential for safe and effective ‘free’ and loaded squats. This time we look at where to start with a free squat and several ways to add weight to maximise your progress. With any exercise, especially where added weights are involved, the most important point is the ‘form principle’. That is to say you should never do more repetitions than you can do with perfect form.
If your flexibility is limited, you can work with a limited range squat and gradually develop more range of movement as you get more flexible and strong together. For some cyclists without any strength training background a bodyweight squat done with a ‘neutral’ spine may in itself be a training stimulus to start with. As you will see, a stick can be a useful prop to practice good technique before adding a loaded bar.