Thanks to #teamNWS member Juanito Serrano for the great edit! NWS all day everyday!
As a former self taught bodybuilder, the ultimate goal of my back squat was to bring the heaviest weight I could in 4-6 reps below parallel and bring the damn thing back up. That was it. Although it built some nicely defined legs over the years, it also developed bad habits and mobility issues.
This had consequences when I was introduced to Crossfit. Since Day 1, I have been trying to pinpoint why I could not keep my heels planted on the floor. I have tried sitting on medicine balls, screwing my feet into the floor, holding a pole, facing a wall, taking a wider stance, but no matter what I did, when I broke parallel I’d tip forward and rely on my balls of my feet to drive myself back up. The only solution I found that helped was to add a small plate behind my heels so I could squat much deeper.
After trying multiple mobility tests, it wasn’t hunched shoulders or a tight chest that kept me from squatting deeply and properly. I have a strong upper back and rear delts so I crossed out an imbalance. I narrowed it down to the lack of ankle mobility. This seems to also be the reason that I hunch my back as I get lower and my trunk tips forward. I have been trying so hard to keep my chest up and my hips out, but no matter how hard and focused I was, the deeper I squatted the farther forward I leaned.
I’m guessing I need to work on ankle mobility drills and that in turn will help with my posture as I try to break parallel on the squat. It looks like this may take a few months to work on, but I am determined to get this right. Proper squats are such a huge foundation exercise for all the crossfit movements. I will keep you all posted on all my progression.