Common variants: Back Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat


The Squat category houses many exercise variations which form a cornerstone of good strength programmes as a potent stimulus for neuromuscular adaptation. With such potency comes great necessity for technical perfection if we are to have the maximal. positive effect on complex sports skills and cap the potential downsides from poor technique. The technical model for squatting in the SSOS is derived from our technical model for vertical plyometrics.

Technical Rationale

Clear rationales in strength & conditioning are vital for grounding our decision making in what can be a confusing world. They should be derived by goals outside of the gym and determined by sports skills and the demands of our target sports.

  1. Maximise an upright torso
  2. Feet reasonably straight, grip the floor between big toe and heel
  3. Weight through the mid-foot toward the heel
  4. An unchanging lumbar spine posture
  5. Finish in True Hip Extension
  6. Chin tucked

Category Overview

Each Exercise Category is made up of progressions levels 1-12. Exercises are ordered by movement complexity. Strength is removed as a confounding variable wherever possible to examine movement competency independently of movement capacity.

Level 1 represents the simplest exercise in this category and a starter point for developing technique. Each subsequent level represents the smallest viable increase in movement complexity.

Level 12 represents the most complex exercise within this category.

This visual is a whiste-stop tour of the Exercise Category.

Creating Narrative with Themes

Themes represent large step changes in exercise complexity. They help to create a narrative with our athletes and form broader milestones in movement skills that we can quickly use to describe our athletes’ movement competency. Hit the button below to read more detail how Themes are designed for the Squat Exercise Category.

Exercise Cards

Exercise cards for learning how to coach as many exercises as I can possibly create. Click on the images below to find the exact scripts you can use to get the techniques you want in your athletes.

Rest assured these cues are based on evidence based recommendations to maximise motor learning. Experiential learning wherever possible with a constraints based approach not to mentioned upwards of a decade trying to work out how to achieve these goals with my athletes.

High Performance Standards

The High Performance Standards a north star for our athletes and amongst colleagues to direct our training towards elite standards. Great movement quality with poor strength is a recipe for powder puff performances on the court, pitch and track.

Pursue both for Long Term Athletic Development.

The Squat Category has 3 possibilities for max effort lifts. The Barbell Goblet Squat, the Back Squat and Front Squat.