Book Review: The Squat Bible, by Dr. Aaron Horschig

Book Review: The Squat Bible, by Dr. Aaron Horschig

To be honest, I was pretty skeptical about what a book could teach me regarding sports. I mean, if it’s a school book, then it might work, but otherwise sounds like I’ll be learning about programming from reading how it’s done on paper. It’s probably counter-intuitive. However, The Squat Bible proved me wrong.

I’m not going to say that Dr. Horschig is a genius, but he kinda is. Not because the book will deliver something groundbreaking. At least to me, it didn’t. As an individual who is already into sports and has some common knowledge, The Squat Bible gave me a better understanding of the nitty-gritty details. This is not written or explained anywhere and this is genius.

Who is Dr. Aaron Horschig?

Dr. Aaron Horschig is mostly known for his social media accounts under the brand Squat University. He is a physical therapist from the US known for his YouTube and Instagram presence where he helps athletes understand how to move better and pain-free. On Instagram, Dr. Horschig has a pretty cool practice to engage with his community by providing free of charge training advice, technique help, etc.

The cool thing with Dr. Horschig is that he is well known in the industry, does seminars, and is has a podcast where he discusses interesting topics. It’s frequent that he has guests from the industry and I would say that these are especially interesting podcasts. It’s probably counter-intuitive to listen to a podcast about sports or read a book about sports, but in this case, it’s totally worth it.

What The Squat Bible is all about?

Dr. Horschig describes a certain movement from scratch and gets so deep into the details, that you would probably think “wow, that sounds complex”. In reality, it isn’t. What’s mindblowing is that the average physical therapist or personal trainer wouldn’t even bother explaining even 30% of that. 

The Squat Bible is not only about squats. It’s “The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Squat and Finding Your True Strength”. And when we talk about “finding your true strength”, we’re talking not only about the squat as a movement. It’s about overhead mobility, thoracic spine, lats, joints, low back, knees, ankles, toes. The full package, the whole body.

During a squat, it’s not only the legs that move. And even the legs are not “just legs”. They consist of joints that have their own mobility and could impact the squat. This book would also talk about common misconceptions and theories that are scientifically proven to be wrong. 

Why you should read this book?

I follow Dr. Horschig on social media since I began working out on my own. I knew my form suck because I couldn’t get deep into the squat. When I started following him, I learned that there are certain mobility issues that I have to address. For me, that was my ankles, which were too stiff and they probably still are, but I really can’t test that as gyms are closed.

I didn’t learn how to squat from this book, I learned it from the videos Dr. Horschig shares on Instagram and YouTube. However, I learned some other details from The Squat Bible. Like, toe position, how wide apart should my legs be, ques on bracing and breathing. These are things that I saw in videos, but for some reason never really got into my mind.

What’s more interesting is how he describes the squat itself. For Dr. Horschig, the squat is firstly a movement and then a lift. We should all learn how to move first, then try to lift heavy. The goal is to get strong and lift heavy without feeling pain. If you’re feeling like this is your goal, then this book is for you. 

Moving pain-free 

As I mentioned, we should learn how to move first, then lift heavy. For most lifters (even for me) it’s a bit intimidating to see girls in the gym, who can lift more than me. Like, “she weights 55kg, how could she do 8 reps with 80kg on the bar with clean technique?!”… I was that guy, even though this was a conversation I had in my head.

squat university

If your knees/ankles/back/etc hurt during squatting, then clearly something is wrong. If somebody tells you “no pain, no gain”, tell him/her to go home. This is wrong.

In the Squat Bible, you will learn how to position your body the best way, you will learn the concept of low bar squat and high bar squat. You will learn what could be the limiting factor for you during a certain movement.

One of the things that spooked me in this book is the concept that we should all be able to squat deep (ass-to-grass) with bodyweight. No barbell, no pain, squat deep. If this is something one cannot achieve, then there’s some work to do before loading the bar.

The beauty of The Squat Bible

Do you know what’s the most valuable thing in this book? Dr. Horschig will deliver to your eyes and mind the right ques, the right body position, the right way to breathe. But it’s not only that. It’s the fact that you will learn how to tackle all of those mobility issues. 

The Squat Bible contains guides for you to work on every single mobility issue that might prevent you from going into a deep squat. And not only the back squat, but it will help you also with the front squat. The overhead squat as well. 

Do you see where I’m going? You will learn how to move during all of this pain-free. If that isn’t genius, I don’t know what it is. The only thing I’m feeling bad about (and it’s not related to this book), is that there are so few professionals that could teach us to do these things.

The Squat Bible is available on Amazon.

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