Stop and Squat

This exercise focuses on power squatting to strengthen your legs and lower back as well as full extension and amplitude in your arms and hands.

Equipment

You will need a sturdy chair to do this exercise.

How to

Stand facing away from your chair, as if you are about to sit down. Your feet need to be hip width- apart and feet placed slightly behind the knees. When you are ready, move to sit down. Do not actually transfer your weight to the chair. Hover over the chair for a moment and then come back up to a fully extended position. While you are moving to sit and stand with your lower legs you are going to be doing a power movement with your hands. When you are standing, your hands and arms are extended down by your side. When you go to sit, your hands come up into the ‘STOP’ position. Imagine that someone is running at you and you are trying to stop them barrelling into you. Big, open hands, wrists extended, arms reaching out and chest up.

Repeat this exercise.

Precautions

If you have difficulties with knee pain, start with slower squats, or half squats where you only squat to half way.  If balance is a concern, have a sturdy chair placed in front of you, but not obstructing your arms. In the case of pre-existing shoulder injury, change the arm position to a sideways movement.

Progression.

Level 1: Get the idea of the movement. Make sure you are not crouching forwards as you squat. Your knees effectively stay in the same plane, they just hinge as you squat back as far as you can. Make sure you are getting full extension of the wrist and a power ‘stop’ in the arms at the same time.

Level 2: To make this exercise harder, you can add a full arm stretch and jump before you come back into standing and full extension. Make sure you land with soft knees and feet hip width apart though to reduce the load and maintain your balance.

Level 3: If you are really getting the hang of this exercise then you can introduce the mental tasking audio track. Your focus is still on the motor task though, not the mental task.