There was a time in the 70’s when children grew up doing a lot of after school play with friends, like kick the can, stickball and climbing trees with the “kids on the block”. Movement experience was arguably much more broad for kids of that era. Fast forward 50 years and most western kids just don’t have many organic movement opportunities like this any more.
This translates to the need for motor pattern development in basic human movement to be delivered in new ways, that take a specifically child-centric approach.
For Brand X® The Blocked Squat is a basic movement that we use to teach motor patterns and create positional consistency before adding complexity. In this case, in this era, asking a child to maintain both feet in full contact with the floor and spinal neutrality while moving through a range of motion is challenging enough.
We have multiple goals in using the blocked squat, to practice embed and create familiarity with:
- Engagement (Muscles On Movement Skill™)
- Keeping the whole foot in contact with the ground along with external rotation of the femur. (Footprint in the Sand Movement Skill™)
- Pointing toes straight ahead
- Knee travel in safe positions
- Bracing strategies for spinal neutrality (Strong Tree Movement Skill™)
We don’t add ROM beyond where the above POP or checkpoints can be maintained. In other words have kids go only as far down as they can keep moving with great form.
Once we have consistency in the blocked squat, we can comfortably move from the blocked squat to the box and air squat knowing we have already addressed the most common “problems” in advance and created good habits, a great Base from which to Build.
Challenge kids who excel at Blocked squats to practice Rock Up Get Ups directly into a Blocked Squat.