While rabbits may be an ongoing nuisance in my backyard, they have one thing going for them that I’m always jealous of: some thick and strong hips!
So it’s only logical that if we are trying to do an animal pattern to prepare for a squat day, the rabbit hop is an excellent one to choose!
As you drop into it, with your feet about squat width apart and your hands in line with the toes, you need to pull yourself into position by creating a tremendous amount of tension in the hips and trunk.
We are storing that potential energy to spring out of the bottom (or hole of the squat when you are lifting) preparing us for some serious speed and power when we get to our squats!
It’s important you stay flat footed prior to springing out of the bottom and get back there as fast as you can after landing. You want to be able to use everything you have to spring up and when you can push through the entire foot, you will get everything working towards that common goal.
And then, to have a little fun with it and show those rabbits what’s up, go ahead and spring backwards. Bet those little fluff balls can’t do that!
Like anything, there are ways to make this less effective and the two critical things we want to avoid are these:
- Getting on your toes. Instead, fight for hip mobility and squat depth through hip and trunk tension which should put you flat on the ground until the moment you need to spring off the ground. Establish YOUR squat depth through tension versus letting gravity drop you down into the hole without any tension. That will NOT help you on a squat day!
- Pushing too much with your hands. Instead focus on the drive through the legs and hips. That’s why it helps to keep the hands back in line with the feet versus out in front.
This is a great animal pattern regardless but an awesome one to do on a squat day, so make it about pre-fatiguing the hips and legs for squats rather than just going through the motion to get it done.
Your purpose, with warm up drills like this, will drive your outcome.