If you want to squat deeper, you not only have to strengthen your core, you need to work on your hips. Specifically, you need to ‘loosen’ up your hips and create more mobility so you can squat through a fuller range of motion.

As there are proven squat progressions there are also proven movements that will help you move better and typically alleviate any back pain you’re having.  And the cool thing is that when you ‘fix’ your hips, a lot of other great things happen.

Creating more mobility in your hips – along with more core stability – will allow you to get AND stay in better positions for all other full body strength exercises.  You will deadlift better, lunge better, jump better, run better, and power clean better.

Fix Your Hips Circuit

This Fix Your Hips circuit includes the following exercises:

1) Bodyweight Squats

2) Cossack Squats

3) Deep Lunge (with Hip Flexor Stretch)

4) External Rotation on Bench

You want to move smoothly and transition between exercises with purpose. Spend some time at each position until you feel comfortable.

4-Punch Combo for Squats

The great thing about this “4-punch combo” is that it is not reserved just for the warm-up. It can and should be performed in between your primary exercises. For example, if you are squatting, do this:

Set 1) Squat with Barbell Only:  20 reps (warm-up)

Bodyweight Squat => Cossack Squat => Deep Lunge => External Rotation on Bench

Set 2) Squat: 135 lbs. x 10 reps

Bodyweight Squat => Cossack Squat => Deep Lunge => External Rotation on Bench and so on… until you are hitting depth and are ready to move into your heavier sets.


Jim Smith is a highly respected, world-renowned strength and conditioning coach. A member of the LIVESTRONG.com Fitness Advisory Board, Jim has been called one of the most “innovative strength coaches” in the fitness industry. Training athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors, Jim has dedicated himself to helping them reach “beyond their potential.” He is also the owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning in Elmira, NY.