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Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats

Oct 11, 2018

Want to know of some accessories to help perfect your squats?

Well, first of all, we all know that squats are the King of all Exercises.

If we could only choose one weight training exercise to build overall lean muscle and increase strength, squats would be the answer.

But sometimes you need accessories to help perfect your squats or to get a little more depth.

This is when we have to consider accessories and other options that will help perfect our squats.

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Use Resistance Bands 

Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Using resistance bands while squattingResistance bands are a great accessory for better squats.

They force you to keep good form while you lower down.

Bands restrict you from cheating on your movements.

They also allow you to target a wider range of muscles than you can with your body weight alone.

According to Tiffany Larson, personal trainer and owner of The Mill in Sun Valley, Idaho, one of the most common squat issues is that people allow their knees to cave in.

This is usually caused by weak glutes or abs.

Barb Puzanovova, an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer in Nashville, Tennessee, agrees.

Rather than loading all of the weight onto your quads, she explains, the bands force your hip’s external rotators (aka your “side booty”) to use more of your glutes.

They also open up your hips, allowing you to dip deeper into a squat position without rounding your back.

Best of all, after using resistance bands for a while when performing squats, you’ll have awesome form even without them.

Related: Benefits of Using Resistance Bands and How They’re Effective

Hip Stiffness Affects Your Squats

Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Man using a foam rollerTight muscles and lack of mobility are major reasons why some people can’t hit depth.

Spend more time doing soft tissue work. Focus on mobility and stretching.

The foam roller can decrease stiffness in your hip flexors, quads, and lateral hips.

Begin by moving it slowly up and down the lower leg muscles until you find a tender area.

Pause on this area and ‘tack it down’ with your bodyweight for ~10 seconds before moving again.

You want to use the foam roller to knead your tissues, rolling back and forth in small rhythmical movements.

Lying on the roller and moving it quickly in large sections will have little effect on your stiff tissues.

Foam roll calves, soleus, achilles, and anything that you find feels tight when squatting.

Related: How to Improve Hip Mobility


Keep on Stretching 

This is also true of stretching.

Assess your body and find where you personally need more flexibility.

For example, if you have tight calves you might find that you can’t squat as deeply.

Related: Should You Stretch Before and After Weightlifting?


Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats: The Right Shoes Can Make a Difference

Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Weightlifting shoes while squattingThe feet set the foundation for every single functional movement we perform.

If we want to squat with good technique, we have to pay attention to what is going on at the feet.

With over 25 bones spread across four different joints, the foot is capable of a lot of movement.

However, we need to instantly create stability at the foot when we squat.

The neutral arched position is the most stable position we can create.

Weightlifting shoes are designed with a stiff, non-compressible sole with a raised heel of about 2.5 cm.

They are usually made of wood or a plastic composite with a rubber bottom to prevent sliding.

Weightlifters throughout the world know these shoes but they are still generally unfamiliar to everyday gym-goers.

The first thing you’ll notice when you put on a pair of these shoes is the ability to squat deeper while maintaining a more upright chest position.

This is due to the raised heel.

A raised heel decreases tension in muscles that often become stiff in the lower leg.

That’s why these shoes are great for anyone who has poor ankle mobility.

During the squat’s descent, the knees need to eventually move forward toward the toes.

This allows the hips to lower down to the greatest depth possible.

The more the knees can move forward at the bottom of the squat the more upright the chest can remain while still staying balanced.

By keeping the torso more upright, there are less harmful forces sustained at the low back.

So athletes who have low back pain or want to reduce stress in this area would benefit from wearing this type of shoe when squatting.

Related: Are You Wearing the Right Shoes for Squatting?


Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats: Consider Hex Bars

Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Hexbar squatsHex bars may look strange and bulky but there is no denying the benefits of this great piece of equipment.

They are modified barbells with open hexagonal centers for you to stand in the middle, with handles on either side.

Hex bars allow people with back problems to perform squats without putting strain on the back and shoulders.

Because hex bar squats use the same motion as standard barbell squats, they work the same muscle groups.

Related: Benefits of a Hex Bar: The Cure to a Common Problem


Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats: Barbell Pads Ease Back and Shoulder Pain

Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Dark Iron Fitness Barbell PadThere is no doubt that squatting has a lot of benefits and it should be included in any workout regimen.

Yet, many people don’t squat because of various reasons–such as back and shoulder pain.

Using a barbell pad can easily solve this issue.

The Dark Iron Fitness barbell neck pads are the highest reviewed and highest rated barbell pads on Amazon.

With almost a perfect score of five stars from over 1100 reviews, this barbell pad consists of top-grade foam core that will retain its shape and resists flattening.

This premium bar wrap has enough padding to provide excellent cushioning during squats and lunges, but not so much that it prevents you from keeping the bar positioned close to your body.

Unlike other bulky barbell pads, these won’t push your head and neck forward.

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Our premium bar wrap has just enough padding to provide superior comfort during those squats and lunges—yet it’s thin enough to keep the bar in an ideal position, close to your body. Eliminate discomfort & stay focused on your form with this durable, non-slip barbell pad.

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Related: The 5 Best Barbell Pads Worth Buying in 2018


Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats: Knee Sleeves Make a Big Difference

Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Dark Iron Fitness Knee SleevesOne of the advantages of knee sleeves is the prevention of injuries.

Squats rely heavily on knee movement so wearing a knee sleeve can help decrease the trauma.

Knee sleeves help prevent injuries by offering sufficient compression and support.

While doing squats, the elasticity in knee sleeves allows you to improve your performance.

Even if you’re not working out, you can still use the knee sleeves to improve blood flow.

During the cold months, the knee sleeves can add warmth to your legs.

The best knee sleeve will combine compression, warmth, comfort, durability, and price into a package that looks goods and allows you to squat more weight safely.

For knee sleeves that do all this for a great price, check out Dark Iron Fitness’ Weightlifting Knee Sleeves for Crossfit Powerlifting and Weight Training.

Our knee sleeves are a new product and have already earned almost a 5-star rating.

Made from breathable cotton spandex with enhanced stitching for long-lasting wear.

Side stabilizers, patella holder, and adjustable straps make it easy to tighten the knee sleeves for extra support and strength.

You will have enough support to lift over 600 pounds comfortably.

The strong material is thin enough so there is no annoying bunching of material behind your knees when you squat.

Related: Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit


Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats: Dip Belts

The dip belt is a great training tool. People with back injuries and are unable to do a barbell squat or deadlift found dip belts a useful squat accessory.

Using a dip belt for lifting involved very little spinal compression while still giving legs and hips a great workout.

If you are dealing with an injury or just looking for another great exercise to add to your training program, the hip belt squat is one I would highly recommend.

Related: Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt


Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats - Dark Iron Fitness Dip BeltDark Iron Fitness Leather Weightlifting Dip Belt–one of the highest rated dip belts out today, our dip belt is built to last.

It’s made from real leather and has pillow-like padding that won’t dig into your sides or hips.

The long weight strap will hold over 270 lbs, which means you can load over 6 Olympic weight plates quickly and easily.

The heavy-duty metal buckle and adjustment strap help it fit perfectly so it won’t fall off when worn.

Reviewers talk about how well made this is while being light enough to leave on between sets.

The padded belt is very comfortable so nothing digs into your body.

It can be adjusted to fit your waist so it stays on securely whether you are adding or removing weights.

Related: The 5 Best Dip Belts for 2018: A Comprehensive Buying Guide


Final Thoughts on Accessories to Help Perfect Your Squats

Squatting works your entire lower body as well as your core and many other stabilizing muscles.

Why not do everything you can to ensure that squats are a part of your workout routine?

These accessories will help you not only improve your form but also make sure that you do squats regularly to reap the maximum benefits.

Related: 5 Benefits of Dip Belt Squats