Watching Your Eyes in a Mirror Will Keep Your 	Head Level  as You Perform Squats

Watching Your Eyes in a Mirror
Will Keep Your Head Level
as You Perform Squats

Strength - Coaching Cue for Correct Head Position in the Squat

Meghan Juuti

A new study at the University of Miami has shown that different head positions can produce incorrect technique in the front squat. The most effective position was with the head level.

The Study
In a study involving 10 squat-experienced football players, it was found that a downward-looking head position produced an 8% greater forward bend at the hips and a 2% greater forward flexion of the spine. This was considered significant enough to contribute to a greater stress load on the lower back and vertebral disks.

An upward-looking head position was also studied. While no change in body position resulted from this common technique, there are problems with it--basically the potential for a loss of balance leading to the athlete falling backward.

Coaching Cue for Head Position
A good coaching cue for maintaining a correct, level head position is to watch your own eyes in a mirror while performing squats. As you descend, so does your head, which keeps your head position level. If you don't have a mirror, pretend you have one and watch the wall--the results will be the same.

References: 1. Jim Stoppani. "Use Your Head During Squats." Flex. May 2007.

2. D.V. Donnelly et al., "The effect of the direction of gaze on the kinematics of the squat exercise," Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(1):145-50, 2006.


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