Dragon squats are a challenging and effective exercise for improving lower body strength, mobility, and stability. This exercise can help you develop a strong and stable base, improve your balance and coordination, and increase your range of motion.
Whether you are an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or just looking to improve your overall fitness, dragon squats can be a valuable addition to your workout routine. So, if you want to know the process of how to Do a perfect Dragon Squat, read the following article thoroughly.
Preparing for Dragon Squats
Before you begin with dragon squats, ensuring your ankles have enough dorsiflexion to reach the end position is essential. The upward bending motion of your foot at the ankle joint is referred to as dorsiflexion.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you to test your ankle dorsiflexion. Flex your foot as much as possible towards you without lifting your heel off the ground. If your knee can’t get over your toes, then it will be challenging to perform the exercise correctly.
If you have limited ankle dorsiflexion, you can improve your range of motion by performing ankle mobility exercises. Here are a few ankle mobility exercises to try:
- Ankle Circles: Sit on the floor and spread your legs out in front of you. Lift one foot off the floor and rotate your ankle in a circular motion, making sure to move through your full range of motion. Repeat on the other foot.
- Ankle Rocking: Sit on the floor and spread your legs out in front of you. Lift one foot off the floor and rock your foot back and forth, moving through your full range of motion. Repeat on the other foot.
- Ankle Dorsiflexion Stretch: Sit on the floor and spread your legs out in front of you. Wrap a resistance band around your foot’s ball and grab both ends with your hands. Gently pull your foot towards you, feeling a stretch in your calf and ankle. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Regularly performing these exercises can improve your ankle dorsiflexion and prepare you for the dragon squat exercise.
How to Do a Perfect Dragon Squat: The Progressions
For progressing towards the full dragon squat, there are different exercises that you can perform to build strength and mobility.
Exercise 1: Side-Lying Foot Lift
The first exercise in the progression is the side-lying foot lift, where you lay on your side and bring your foot up above the knee, ideally up in line with the hip. You can use a weight or yoga block to lift the other foot by engaging the inner thigh muscles. As a beginner, perform five to ten reps for two to three sets and gradually increase the rep range to 12 to 15.
Exercise 2: Box-Assisted Dragon Squat
This exercise requires a box to hold on to. Place your foot close to the edge and hold onto the front and side of the box. From here, bring the foot up and back down, taking some time in the end-range position. This exercise requires a lot of stabilization on the leg that is bent and core engagement. Do the same amount on each side.
Exercise 3: Curtsy Lunge
The third exercise in the progression is the curtsy lunge; which can be done with the free hand or with a front-loaded kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand. Bring one leg behind you in a curtsy-like fashion and bring the knee to the ground while keeping the hips pointing forward. This exercise can be done one at a time to activate the muscle or to improve balance.
Exercise 4: Box-Assisted Curtsy
The fifth exercise requires a high box and involves curtsy while on the box. Control the negative as slowly as possible on the way down, and try to help yourself with that little bit of bounce you have as little as possible on the way up.
Exercise 5: Eccentric Dragon Squat
The sixth exercise is an eccentric or negative rep of a dragon squat. You can choose not to grab your foot and bend the knee or use your arms to balance without touching the foot.
Video: Beginners Guide to Dragon Squats
In this video by Flow Motion Fitness, Halinka Hart go over a few progressions & prerequisites needed to dragon squat. You may find this helpful:
Mastering the Dragon Squat
Once you have prepared your ankles for the dragon squat by improving your ankle dorsiflexion and mobility, it’s time to move on to the actual exercise. However, it’s essential to start slowly and make sure you have good form and stability before attempting it.
To perform a dragon squat:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Take a step forward with your left foot, crossing it over your right foot as you move. Your left foot should end up in front of your right foot.
- Bend both knees and lower your body toward the ground. Keep your back straight and your core muscles engaged. Your right foot should be pointing backward while your left foot points forward.
You should feel a stretch in your right hip flexor and left glute as you perform the squat. Once you reach the bottom of the squat, push through your left heel to lift your body back up to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
|In Addition – The following article may be of interest to you: “Unlock Your Hip Flexors“.|
When performing the dragon squat, it’s essential to pushing the back part of the back leg into the hamstring of the opposite leg to help maintain stability. As you get better, you can start elongating the leg slightly and putting more weight on the front leg to increase the challenge.
It’s important to remember that the dragon squat requires a lot of mobility in the hip, ankle, and back. If you feel pain or discomfort at any time during the exercise, you should immediately stop and reassess your form. You may need to modify the practice or improve your mobility before attempting it again.
Adding Dragon Squats to Your Workout Routine:
Once you have mastered the dragon squat, add it to your regular workout routine for a challenging and effective lower-body exercise. The dragon squat can be done as part of a bodyweight circuit or add weights to increase the difficulty.
Here’s an example of a bodyweight circuit that includes dragon squats:
|Dragon squats||10 reps per side|
|Jumping jacks||20 reps|
|Jump squats||10 reps|
Repeat the circuit 3-4 times with little to no rest between exercises.
Incorporating dragon squats into your workout routine can improve your lower body strength, mobility, and stability and take your fitness to the next level.
Dragon squats are a challenging but rewarding exercise that can improve lower body strength, mobility, and stability. Following these steps and suggestions, you’ll soon be a dragon squat pro.