Kevin Turner- Turner Strength & Performance
If you want to squat big weight and get the most out of every rep and set, you have to have an efficient walkout. Go to the local gym and you will often see rushed, sloppy walkouts with the intention of just getting it done by any means necessary in an effort to get that damn weight off of their backs. This may work for a while, but eventually will become a huge limiting factor in how much they can squat if they don’t get injured first.
What is gained from a solid walkout?
- Mental and physical preparation
- Prevention of energy loss
- Reduced risk of injury
- Improved squat performance
Performing the Squat Walkout
The walkout begins before unracking the barbell.
- Begin by taking a shoulder width grip on the barbell. Then proceed to wedge yourself under the bar while creating a tight upper back. This forms a “shelf” that will allow the barbell to sit in either the high bar or low bar positions. Additional tightness will be achieved by actively pulling the barbell into the back.
- Place your feet directly under your hips and so the barbell will be centered over the midline of the feet as you unrack.
- Before unracking, you will need to brace your core by taking a belly breath that creates 360 degrees of tension around your core. Now that your back is engaged, your core is braced, and your feet are in position, you will unrack the barbell to begin the 3 step walkout process.
- The First step begins by moving your non-dominant leg backwards the distance of the length of your foot.
- The second step is now done with your dominant leg and will be used to set and determine the stance width you are comfortable with.
- The third step is the last opportunity to make the final adjustment to the non-dominant foot from step 2.
Avoid looking down at your feet when performing the walkout to ensure proper tightness is kept throughout the movement. You can practice this with an empty barbell if this is an issue. Now that you are in position to squat you will want to allow the bar to settle and stop moving. Now is an opportunity to re-brace your core and screw or root your feet into the ground.
Before you can squat, you have to master the walkout.
The three step walkout isn’t the only way to perform the walkout but every athlete will benefit greatly from the stability, confidence, and consistency that an efficient walkout can provide.