Unlocking the key to the perfect squat

At Athos, we’re always striving to gain deeper insights into the human body. To do that Athos partnered with ProActive, an elite sports performance institute that trains some of the top athletes in the world. We threw the gear on seven NFL athletes to capture their last two sessions of offseason training. It was awesome to watch world class athletes like Clay Matthews,Taylor Mays, Lamarr Houston, Jonathan Stewart, and Malik Jackson in our gear. It was also great to take a step back and watch the trainers at ProActivetake over using the real time feedback to adjust the athlete’s position and form. It was all about getting the intensity ratios dialed in across the lower body muscle groups: quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Session at ProActive

Friendly Competition

One of the drills involved trying to do as many body weight squats as possible within 45 seconds, making sure to get down to a proper 90 degrees at the knee. We saw a fun competition between two of the NFL players. We’ll call them Player A and Player B.

Player B got to 30 and Player A hit 54! (almost 2x)

What happened?

Now normally this is where Player B would just go train more and hope to beat Player A next time. But because they were both wearing Athos gear, we’re able to compare the breakdown of load per muscle as a percentage of total capacity. At 21% and 26% muscle effort on his right and left glute, Player A was able to better leverage his glutes vs. Player B at 7% and 9%.

Athos muscle effort comparison, percentage of total capacity

By spreading more of the load onto his glutes and hamstrings Player A was able to take some of the burden off his quads resulting in a more efficient squat. He was able to sustain a higher cadence and ultimately achieve more reps. Now Player B knows what he needs to do to beat Player A next time. (I gave it a go too, but I’d prefer not to disclose my numbers!) We’re looking forward to further collaborations and insights to push the limits and help everyone train more effectively. Stay tuned for more updates from us. Now go do some squats with Athos!

Chris Wiebe

CTO @ Athos