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Executing the Heiden Squat

This is an excerpt from Hockey Anatomy by Michael Terry & Paul Goodman.

Heiden Squat

Execution

  1. Assume a squat base with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower the chest until it is parallel to the ground.
  3. Clasp the hands behind the back at the lumbar spine.
  4. Keeping the chest down, squat by bending the knees to lower the body.
  5. Descend and ascend rapidly during each squat.

Muscles Involved

Primary: Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius), gluteus maximus, gluteus medius

Secondary: Hamstrings (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris), erector spinae (iliocostalis, longissimus, spinalis), gastrocnemius, soleus


Hockey Focus

Hockey, and specifically skating, relies on joint angles. The Heiden squat puts the lower extremities into an extreme position. It enables the body to accumulate high levels of lactic acid and bend correctly at the hips, knees, and ankles at the same time. The chest-down position limits the range of motion in order to keep stress on the lower limbs. It also strengthens the lower lumbar spine, which maintains proper skating posture when the chest is brought upright.


Variation

Lateral Heiden Squat

Assume the same starting position as the Heiden squat. On each squat, step slightly out to the side to widen the base and then return to the starting stance.