Let's talk about the squat!
This is one of the best exercises if you are trying to build muscle and strength, or lose body fat and look or feel good.
As humans we squat every day, it is a natural movement for us.
Now, the question is, are you squatting properly?
There are many different squat variations and to do all of them, we need to master the body weight squat.
I am going to walk you through how to set up your squat to ensure you are doing it correctly.
Before preforming a squat you should make sure that your body is warmed up by doing 5-10 mins of the stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill. Next, move to activating the core and glutes. Examples are planks and body weight glute bridges.
Note: the above takes practice (and a lot of it!) So be patient, and ensure you work on form first, before adding weight.
Step 1. Stand with your feet hip width apart or slightly wider than your hips. Your toes should be pointed slightly out, this will help protect your knees.
Step 2. Keep your core tight think about putting your ribs to pelvis.
Step 3. Keep your shoulders down and focus your head forward keeping the chin tucked
Step 4. Take a deep breath in break at the hips and feel as if you are sitting back into a chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground and knees should be in line with your feet. Make sure you are maintaining a neutral spine and your chest and shoulders up.
Step 5. Keeping everything tight, breath out and push through your feet to stand tall keeping the ribs to pelvis. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top before performing the next rep.
Our bodies are all different, so not everyone will have the same squat.
Someone with longer femurs will squat differently than someone with shorter ones, some people’s hips are placed differently in their sockets, and many of us have mobility issues due to our daily life.
A few tips to remember:
- Keep your knees tracking in line with your feet and toes.
- Make sure your chest is up.
- Keep your shoulders back.
- Keep your ribs to your pelvis.
Make sure you don't make these mistakes:
- Letting your knees cave in.
- Rounding your back, or arching your back.