I first discovered that my squatting technique was terrible when I started doing CrossFit. I had been running for more than 35 years, and until I started doing CrossFit, I had no idea how badly my hip and ankle mobility had been compromised by doing all that running and not enough "other things" to balance out my training. Unfortunately when I was involved in CrossFit, they really didn't offer any training solutions for people with poor mobility. That has changed now, but I was pretty much on my own on how to go about fixing my mobility problems. I have to stress that my methods are almost certainly not the best, but I had to make do with what knew at the time.
The Process I have followed to date
My first step was to try to get comfortable sitting in the squat. I set a goal of being able to sit in a squat for 10 minutes. I did this by simply sitting in a squat and timing myself. Each time I tried to stay in the squat a little longer before my hips became extremely uncomfortable and I felt the need stand up.
- I would focus on relaxing and letting gravity pull me down. I tried not to resist when my hips became uncomfortable, I would continue to focus on remaining relaxed.
- After about a month, I was able sit in a squat for 10 minutes. It was not a pretty squat, by my hips really began to loosen up.
- I started doing 10 minutes of Goblet Squats every day, slowly decreasing the weight I was using for counterbalance.
- I also started doing calf stretches using a Meta-Dyne calf stretching device
- At this point, my squat without the kettlebell was getting much better, but it still needed work.
So this is where I am now. I've greatly improved my hip mobility. My ankle mobility is better, but needs work. So for my next steps, I intend apply some of the training methods from the videos I posted in Squatting and Why It's an Important Movement for Runners. Particularly the video Tight ankles= bad squatting.
Here is a nice video on Goblet Squats