Pre Squat Warm Up Routine (NO MORE STIFF SQUATS!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, The squat is by far one of the most basic
and fundamental movements that should be in your training program. However, if your body
is not ready to do this exercise it could actually wreak havoc on your body. We have
to make sure we address that. Today I’m going to show you a very fast routine.
Two minutes that you can do pre-squat to get your body more ready to squat. Here’s the
thing, you’ve got to make this distinction right off the bat. If you’re somebody that lacks the mobility,
literally lacks the physical mobility in your hips, or in your low back – we’re talking
hard end feel, or your hip can’t get past a certain range of motion because you just
don’t have any more room in that joint – this routine is not going to fix that. What this routine is going to do is help you
overcome stiffness before squatting. Stiffness is actually a much more common problem. Stiffness
is that you actually have the mobility, you just don’t have the ability to realize that
at this moment because you’re stiff. So the more you work yourself through that,
the more you’ll see your range of motion increase, okay? So how do we do this? We’re going to
do six reps of everything I show you here. It starts right here with the first exercise.
You’re going to grab your toes and try to sink down as low as you can into the bottom
position of a squat. Again, six reps. Next we move onto the ability
of our thoracic spine to extend. So here we want to say “Can we get our thoracic spine
to go backward even a little bit more to keep our chest up and out?” so we’ve got to do
that with this quick little drill. Here, hands behind your head, you’re going
to just allow your body to curl over into flexion, and then you want to come out into
extension and allow your arms to actually lead the way. Let your elbows lead the way.
Six reps here. Then we want to work on something a lot of us don’t work on and that is our
thoracic rotation. It’s a really important component, even though
we’re not rotating in squats. We’re trying to maintain as much mobility through the thoracic
spine as possible and we need to incorporate what I’m showing you here. So you’re going to actually hook with your
left hand onto your right foot and let your left elbow help to drive you into this right
rotation, where I’m lifting my arm upward to the sky on the right side, getting as much
rotation as I can. Of course, alternating and going back to the
other side. You’re going to aim for six reps each direction here as well. Now let’s go
back. Now that we’ve sort of loosened up that thoracic spine as much as we can we have to
try to take it to the next level. Then thoracic extension becomes a lot more
difficult when our arms are up over our head. So we’re going to try to perform a version
of an overhead squat mobility drill. So here you’re going to try to do the same thing you
did before, but keeping your arms up and over your head. Again, trying to maintain that extension in
the thoracic spin, and also down into the lumbar spine. Finally, we’re going to wrap
it all up and try to tie things together by combining a few of these motions. So we’re going to go down and try to challenge
that thoracic extension in that more difficult version with the arms overhead, and immediately
go into a rotation in the thoracic spine, right and left. So why are we doing this?
Because I never think you should isolate planes of motion. Whenever you get into a real weight room situation,
or even on the field of competition, you’re not really going to move in isolated planes.
You’re going to want to try to combine things in the way that is more applicable to what
you’re actually going to encounter. Guys, I say it all the time; if you want to
look like and athlete you’ve got to train like an athlete. Athletes move on all three
planes all the time. If you’re looking for a program that will combine all the elements
of training and challenge you in all three planes the way it should – it’s going to
get you better results because you’re actually training the way your body is meant to be
trained in the first place. You can get that in the ATHLEANX training
system over at In the meantime, if you’re looking for more of these videos
on mobility – I know this is one of the popular topics of request – just make sure
to leave your comments below. Tell me what you want to see and I’ll do my best to bring
them to you here in the days ahead. All right, guys. I’ll see you back here again
real soon.

100 thoughts on “Pre Squat Warm Up Routine (NO MORE STIFF SQUATS!)

  1. athlean x i have awhole lot of stifness in hamstings and i have problem in going low in squat and deadlift

  2. I've been doing this before my squat workout for the past 2 weeks and it has made a huge difference for me. I feel a lot more balanced because it easier to hold the correct body position throughout the movement.

  3. I have a new found respect for youtube content creators..the amount of back end work is crazy. I just started my channel and posted some videos…I just posted a deadlift warmup routine video if you're interested in that. If anyone reading this could check it out and give me some feedback that would be doope!

  4. @athleanx Hey Jeff, do you have any suggestions for those of us with literally not enough mobility to get down to a particular level on a squat?

  5. Hey, Jeff. I know this is an old video, but I was looking for "warm up" tips and found this one in your channel (to which I'm already subscribed).
    My question is, what kind of warm up do you recommend before lifting?
    I used to do some cardio before and after lifting. Now, my trainer changed my routine, in order to try to increase my gains (I'm like Jesse, a Hard Gainer). He has increased the weight, and reduced the reps, but I'm a little concerned about not doing some warm up before lifting.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



  6. I would like to see a video on stretches for before a basketball practice, or game. I coach at the high school level, and I am always looking for the best way to prepare my players bodies for practice, and games.

  7. 15-20 minute full body mobility drill program for tightness would be great! I have hip impingement which I mobilize via belt, but overall i have considerable tightness everywhere which would be great to resolve without having to sacrifice an hour everyday trying to stretching each muscle. Thanks!

  8. When doing squats, do you have to go all the way down to where your thighs are parallel with the ground? Or you could you just go down 2/3 of that.

  9. This is why leg day sucks! I am always stiff and have poor mobility. I wish I could squat with ease just like I bench. My bench mobility feels natural. When I squat it feels stiff, and uncomfortable. It doesn't feel fluent/natural at all. Its so annoying cuz I don't mind squats, but I always feel unprepared (sleepy) when I do them.

  10. Holy crap!! I workout 5 to 6 days a week n everything u jus showed is sooooooo difficult for me to do!! No wonder my squats feel like crap!!

  11. Jeff, make more videos like this, like therapy work. Sooooo many people are tight, you should make more flexibility videos like hip mobility etc.

  12. awesome video as always man. mobility work is one of my key concerns this training cycle and i cant wait to see if this is as effective at the rack as it looks on tape!

  13. Love your principles about training sir, but there's this guy from functional patterns saying that squats are not functional coz its not based on gait cycle and that it contributes to spinal compression. Maybe you can share your thoughts about this.. thank you sir.

  14. Which one of your training programs addresses comprehensive stretching. Which one of your training programs has a leg or squat emphasis?

  15. Should we do weight lifting exercuses for legs the same day we do weight lifting exercises for the upper body or should we do weightlifting exercises on the day we do sprints but not before we sprint? Athlean X youtube videos have only mentioned not to do sprints before weightlifting which will kill gains due to the muscles being led to focus on developing other parts of the body. Will weightlflifting exercises with dumbbells/ barbells/ kettlebells/ resistance bands that target the legs help develop the same muscles that sprinting develops?

  16. Hey guys I did the thoracic spine stretch and from that moment I have a supreme pain in my upper back. Especially when I'm breathing. Any ideas?

  17. I did this 4 days ago last leg day and after the workout I later got the worst hamstring cramp of my life. It literally lasted like 3-4 min but I felt every second. Today’s leg day again and hopefully I don’t encounter this today again smh

  18. I like what you're talking about but you yourself need more flexibility in your hip flexors your heels shouldn't come off the floor when you're twisting, your hips need to be lower.

  19. Testing this and praying it works.. I’ve stopped squatting and replaced them with box squats because my hips pinch and my ROM sucks.

  20. Can you do a video on hamstrings an calf ,an inner quads I can't seem to get a pump on them front quads , thank you

  21. I cant get into that position, when i sit down my lower back rounds and my heels get off the ground. So fisically it's impossible to do it for me.

  22. Thanks Jeff.
    I’ve used several of these movements since you first uploaded this video and my squat numbers have continued to increase

  23. You kind of fobbed off those with limited range of motion…. not all guys have your build. any tips for slightly older/heavier guys?

  24. I can't get very low with these moves, especially the first one. Does that mean I should back squat?

  25. Are you trying to keep your heals off the ground like yours?? Or are they ment to be on the floor?? As it wasnt mentioned

  26. Great tips! But it looks like Jeff has very stiff ancles. See how his heels move up every time he squats.

  27. This guys videos have helped me fix my knees and hips and helped me correct my squat form and I’m 6’5”

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