Updated: Aug 17
This month's movement from our newsletter is the plate squat. The plate squat is a highly dynamic and regularly used tool for athletes. There are a variety of reasons to use this exercise, including for an initial assessment, as a warm-up, and in an intense workout.
The plate squat is a great assessment tool for squat mobility. We can see ankle, knee, and hip ROM (Range of Motion), as well as tuck stability. I don't recommend using anything heavier than a 10-pound plate for this as mechanics can be built from here.
Plate squats also serve as a great warm-up movement if you stay consistent. The plate is used as a counterbalance to give the athlete a better connection to the ground. From there, the anterior press provides a driver that engages the abdominals and diaphragm which is crucial to a proper warm-up. You can also work on your ankle mobility by shifting your weight side to side, or gently twisting the torso to create ankle dorsiflexion. However, using the proper weight for your body is imperative as the plate is there to help increase the range of motion, and too heavy of a plate can start to limit that.
Adding plate squats into a workout is a great way to create a dynamic exercise routine. An example of this could look like a 15-calorie assault bike, 5 push-ups, and 15 plate squats for a 15 Minute "AMRAP" (As Many Reps As Possible) workout. Now you got yourself a workout! Following all of the cues in the video in the movement library and performing them soundly throughout a workout is far different than a few squats; under fatigue, the body performs differently than when we are at RMR (Resting Heart Rate). A note of caution is to not use more than a 25-pound plate, even for the strongest athlete. Our typical RX (Prescribed Weight) is 5 or 10 pounds.
Lastly, play around with your foot positions and try some squats wide, narrow, split, or even with your toes pointed in or out.
Check out our movement library to see how it's done!
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Scott Ryan, BS, CSCS, CF-L1, CF-W, BFRC is a professional coach who specializes in Applied Functional Science, Strength and Conditioning, CrossFit L1, and Olympic Lifting. He attended New England College in New Hampshire obtaining a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Biomechanics. He has a passion for injury prevention and coaching, as he was a collegiate athlete who suffered sports injuries. His goal is to get athletes back to optimal shape as well as prevent future injuries.