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Proper Squat Form Part 2: Hip and Quad Dominant Squats

In this proper squat form follow up, Sophia utilizes EuMotus BodyWatch human movement analysis software to discuss and demonstrate hip dominant and quad dominant squats. The biomechanics differences of each type of squat are quantified and compared with EuMotus BodyWatch athletic training and physical therapy software. We take another step together towards achieving the proper squat form.

EuMotus BodyWatch Squat Demo and Evaluation Part 2 Video Transcript

Hi, thanks for tuning in! Today we are going to look at hip flexion in the squat and how EuMotus can help tell us if we are doing a quad dominant or a hip dominant squat.

There are three main joints that help create a squat motion – the ankles, the knees and the hips. In a quad dominant squat, the squat is created by the forward displacement of the knees over the ankles. The tibia angle increases as we go into dorsiflexion. While, in a hip dominant squat the hips drop down and backwards and the tibia stays more vertically aligned.

[0:39] EuMotus helps us evaluate the movement pattern of our squats, in a few different ways. First, it let’s us evaluate the movement patterns of our squats a few different ways. First it measures the range of motion of our knees and hips. Typically, a hip dominant squat will have knee flexion values that fall between 130 to 150 degrees. In hip flexion, that is around 115 to 140.

[0:59] A quad dominant squat ends up having less knee flexion because of the limitation of ankle dorsiflexion. As we try to squat lower, we compensate by dropping our chests to create hip flexion rather than using the posterior chain. We end up with a hip flexion score that is greater than the desired range. The graphing function lets us break down this movement pattern even further.

[1:20] Let’s try graphing the knee flexion for my quad dominant squat. Notice those choppy spikes – those spikes represent where I got stuck due to my forward knee displacement. That is the end range of my ankles and to continue to be able to squat lower, I had to readjust, which actually meant moving some of my weight back to my hips. And to do this, I had to slightly reduce my knee flexion and stand up a little bit. Hence, causing those little spikes.

Compare this graph to the hip dominant squat and we’ll see that the hip dominant squat is a much smoother and controlled motion, which is evident not only in the video feedback, but also in the graphing function as well. The jerkiness of the quad-dominant squat creates other stability issues as well. As the chest drops forward, we see greater levels of shoulder roll. The readjustments are typically uneven, and can cause pelvic and torso rotations. All of these instabilities show up in the stability faults section listed in the exercise results page.

[2:24] My quad dominant squat has a shoulder roll maximum value of 36 degrees on my left shoulder and 34 degrees in my right shoulder. I’m in a shoulder roll position for just over 80% of the time. My maximum pelvic rotation forward is 13 degrees in my right side. Comparing this to my hip dominant squat, you can see that I still have some shoulder roll present, but that it dropped 14 degrees. My pelvic rotation dropped by eight (8) degrees and was below the threshold to be even listed as a stability fault. I ended up calculating my pelvic rotation by using the graphing function.

[3:01] Lastly, EuMotus gives us corrective muscle imbalance summaries based off of our movement pattern. Two important muscles to look out for are the rectus femoris and the gluteus (glute) muscles. In a quad dominant squat, the rectus femoris is loaded in the eccentric phase, pulling the pelvis anteriorly and moving the hips forward. This will create a rounded back and cause the chest to drop. The glute muscles work in the opposite way. The glute muscles help stabilize our hips and our pelvis. They work together with the hamstring in the eccentric phase to keep the pelvis from anteriorly rotating.

[3:37] Improving squat form has a lot of different components that go into it. First, we need to have strong glutes and hamstrings to allow our posterior chain to do its’ job well. Secondly, we need hip flexibility and hip mobility to allow us to use the full range of our hips properly. Thirdly, we have to create the proper motor patterns with focused training and feedback.

[4:01] In this video, I use a blue band as a corrective exercise for my hip dominant squat. The band adds resistance by creating an outer force forward that allows me to drop my hips further back during the squat, with the assistance to get back up. It is super important to be doing the squat exercise correctly, and quad dominant squats can increase risk for patellar tendonitis, ACL injuries and back injuries when squatting with heavy weight.

[4:32] Thank you for listening along and I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you currently evaluate squats and some of the corrective exercises you are doing as well. Next time, we will be looking at shoulder movements, specifically the wall angel exercise. For more information, check out eumotus online at Thanks again, and have a great day!

Did we miss something important in our proper squat form video? Do you have any tips for corrective exercise? Are there any other muscle imbalances that can lead to improper squat form movement patterns? Let us know by shooting us a message using the button below!

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