Why you should squat
Today I’m going to focus on the Squat!
- Squats are for anyone wanting to tone up (or trying to get the perfect peach!)
- Squats can be carried out at any age, and be done anywhere, at any time!
- You don’t have to use special equipment, and
- There aren’t many exercises that use so many muscles together
- Squats work your butt, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abs, and back
- Squats improve your mobility and balance
It’s a good idea to start off with…
…bodyweight squats. Great for building a base of strength, flexibility, and conditioning. However, there is a point when they become too easy and to continue to challenge your body, you have to start weighted squats.
Adding weights like a dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell, will lead to improvements in overall muscle mass.
How to squat
Getting your squat form right is essential to avoid knee and back pain.
- Do keep your back flat
- Do keep your chest up
- Do engage your core
Don’t let your knees cave in
Because then, the pressure from the squat is on your knees, and not your glutes. If your knees cave inward during your squat — either during the descent or the ascent phase, you are putting your knee joint in an unstable and unsafe position. You might injure yourself.
Don’t just drop to the bottom
Take your time, and let your glutes do the exercise for you. If you drop to the bottom, your butt and legs aren’t doing the work as they should do.
Don’t lean forward too much
For one, you might topple forward! Mainly though, your back will be holding you in position, rather than your glutes working hard for you. Leaning forward is often the result of weak glutes and/or tight hip flexors. To strengthen your glutes try glute bridges, hip thrusts or donkey kicks. To strengthen and loosen hip flexors, try hip circles, fire hydrants or side lunges.