Squats, an exercise I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with. In this post I will go through the correct way of doing squats. Doing squats incorrectly like any other exercise can be dangerous. One of the main body parts affected by incorrect squatting is the knees. Squat properly and you reduce the pressure on your knees.
Firstly for anyone not aware of what a squat is. A squat is a when you start off at a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart and crouch down by bending the knees but keeping the back straight, as if you are about to sit down and then back up again. That’s a very basic description. Later on in the post I will go into more detail.
Squats are for everyone, whether you’re trying to lose weight, tone up or build muscle this is one exercise you should not miss for best results. The main muscles that are worked are the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves but it has an impact on the on so many muscle groups and promotes muscle growth through the whole body.
For beginners you can start of by doing a squat without any weight or resistance. As you work your way up you can start adding resistance using resistance bands or using dumbbells. So, how to do a squat correctly?
Remember to warm up before doing any exercise.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, stand straight with correct posture (check out my post on proper posture). Remember to keep your hips perfectly inline
- Rotate your feet on the heel about 20% degrees out (if you feel pain in your knees this should help, rotate your feet to the most comfortable position for you. But do remember that rotating the feet out does relieve tension from the knees.)
- Bend your knees and lower down as if you are about to take a seat. Push hips back and down. Your knees should be directly in line with your toes not too forward and not to back.
- Your back should be straight with your head in the neutral position.
- Your weight should be on your heels at all times.
- If you are holding a barbell keep your elbows down with your arms by your shoulders and tense your back. If you are not holding a barbell or a dumbbell just mimic the position.
- And then once you have gone as low as you can, raise yourself up to the starting position.
- Remember that pointing your feet slightly outwards can release the tension on the knee joint
- Your knees should be in line with your feet not over. Having your knees in front of your feet will put strain on the knees
- Remember to keep your back tensed and straight whilst doing the squat and not to hunch forward. Also remember that your torso will be slightly forward at an angle.
- Keep the weight on your heels
- Lead the squat with your hips as if you are reaching back and down with your glutes
To get a better idea of how to do a squat with proper form, check out the video below. Also remember to stop if you start feeling pain and to try adjusting your technique and see a medical professional.
For many of you guys, who don’t do squats and don’t really know how to start, why not try the “30 day squat challenge”. Below is the chart:
You only need to do the designated number of squats for each day and after thirty days you should notice a big difference. Once you’ve completed the thirty day challenge you can incorporate weights or resistance bands to increase resistance. You don’t have to do squats every day. Twice a week is just fine, it really depends on how much you do, if it’s a lot more intense with added resistance then you can do it once or twice a week but if you want to just do body weight squats then you could do them as much as you want. Just make sure you don’t over work yourself. The most important thing is to just have fun and you’ll see the results.
[Note: This blog is only for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice or diagnosis. Please consult with a Health care practitioner before making any diet, nutrition changes or when starting a new fitness program.