….question from an NBA S&C asking about the Belt Squat technique and its relation to the VMO and ankle mobility……..
I definitely like the belt squat a lot.
It’s a piece that I wish I’ve had for extended periods of time for deloading or a supplemental lift.
Specifically for a basketball player, the vector of the belt really forces a box squat pattern which I have been very vocal about for any jumping athlete (basketball, volleyball, etc.)
When there is a reason to deload the spine more so than other squat techniques, the belt squat can be the answer. But I’m also not so sure there aren’t some potentially scary shearing loads with the belt squat. Think of where the belt is/could be and the direction of it’s pull. Definitely don’t start the lift with cranking into an anterior tilt. Just sit back and hold it tight muscularly; don’t crush L5-S1 together with just a pelvic tilt. This will throw you into a big GM right away, and you are using bone for stability. This is actually very applicable for any kind of squat. Start sitting back, not tilt then sit back.
When you hear Louie yelling, “Arch, Arch, Arch,” you still try to hold the arch, but I don’t think it fosters durability to anchor L5-S1 with bony approximation. You’ll finish a big lift, but your back will be reminding you for a while. Eventually using honest weights will push you through plateaus anyway.
Remember when you box squat, there is no ankle mobility, so we really have to pick up the difference with some other knee-dominant and ankle mobility techniques.
Don’t worry about your VMO specifically. If you have glutes and hip-dominant patterns, you have VMO.