Few movements are as big as the back squat. While it may seem as simple as placing a barbell on your back and squatting up and down, the back squat boasts one of the highest potentials for athletic progression. With that being said, there are also a number of things that can go wrong with the back squat technique-wise.
One common issue lifters face with the back squat is the problem of one side of the hips rising faster than the other during the concentric portion of the movement. There are a number of things that could contribute to this: asymmetrical setup (feet not in line with each other), tightness/weakness in one side of the body, improper bracing, etc..
These factors may seem purely physical in consideration, but they all stem from a psychological place. Optimal technique is a combination of both the mind and the body working in unison; this harmony becomes increasingly necessary as the intensity of loading increases. While split squats are a common prescription for squat problems of a unilateral nature, performing offset kettlebell squat can also be instrumental in re-educating your body to self-correct unilateral issues in a bilateral environment.
Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit
The kettlebell is first placed in the front rack position with the other hand raised out to the side. Clenching the free hand is encouraged as it allows for greater proprioception when bracing, which contributes to improved stability. From here, the lifter performs a kettlebell squat as per normal. Employing tempo in both the eccentric and concentric phases of the movement magnifies its effectiveness. If bracing is a weak link of yours, incorporating pauses at the bottom is another idea worth exploring.
Since we are approaching the offset kettlebell squat as a corrective exercise, there is no need to place too much emphasis on the load being used. What is important is that you select one that is sufficiently challenging without compromising your ability to express proper technique. The idea is to improve how you move by increasing your body awareness instead of just slinging the weight around.
The offset kettlebell squat can also be combined with higher repetition ranges and shorter rest durations for a greater metabolic challenge. The self-limiting nature of the exercise makes it a good candidate for conditioning workouts where the focus lies more on work capacity as opposed to relative strength. As far as accessory movements go, it’s a great all-rounder!