Jefferson Squat Exercise

This exercise provides excellent lifting mechanics, as well as strengthening all the structures that support the pelvis and back. In addition, it helps to stabilize the sacroiliac joint.

1. Start with feet wider than shoulder width apart and turn the toes out approximately 15 degrees, knee tracking over the second toe as in figure A. Hold a dumbbell in your hands and lift your chest.
2. Inhale, belly button in lightly and hold (this helps create a corset effect on the spine, stiffening the spine and protecting it), as well as focusing on using the buttocks and thighs to protect your back.
3. Bending from the knees, and sitting back as if sitting in a chair, slowly sit into a squat. Keep your chest lifted and a 35 degree curve in the low back, shoulder blades pulled together, figure B.
4. Go as far as you can while maintaining a 35 degree lumbar curve, keeping your shins vertical (do not let your knee go over your toes). Stop when you feel you are about to lose your curve and feel your back muscles working too hard.
5. As you come up out of the movement, press through your heels and slowly exhale through pursed lips.

1. If you feel like you are using your low back to perform the exercise, simply shorten your range of motion.
2. If your balance is off, place a Swiss ball on a wall behind you to help you maintain your balance and form.
3. This exercise can also be done holding your baby.

Reps: 8-12
Sets: 1-3
Tempo: 3-1-3
Intensity: -2 reps (stop when you can do 2 more reps with good form)
Rest: 60-90 sec.


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