The squat is a lower body exercise that you can do with just your bodyweight or with weights like a barbell. The squat is designed to target your thighs and glutes but core strength, ankle mobility, back strength, calves and many other factors also play an important role when performing a squat.
Due to our sedentary lifestyles many people find it hard to perform a squat without making at least one big mistake.
Proper squats will strengthen your legs, glutes and many other muscles. They will improve your lower body mobility and keep your bones and joints healthy.
Incorrect squats will not activate the right muscles and will put additional stress on ligaments and joints. Incorrect technique can also result in an increased risk of injury.
Before you Squat…
- Start by putting your feet shoulder width apart and pointing your toes out slightly
- Activate your core (tense your abs as if someone is about to punch you)
- Look straight ahead and stand tall
Performing a squat:
- When you start to squat do not bend at the knees. Rather sit back by moving your butt backwards and feel your weight shift to your heels
- Try to push your knees slightly outwards as you go down. Your knee caps should always face the same direct as your toes. Your knees should go over your toes and should not bend in.
- Keep looking straight ahead and don’t look down. This will open up your chest and stop your shoulder from rolling forwards. Relax your shoulders and put your hands straight out in front of you – if they fall down as you squat then you know your back is rounded.
- Keep your heel on the floor and push up from your heels as you go back up. If you struggle to squat without putting weight on your toes it will be a good idea to work on your ankle mobility to help with this.
Take your time to work on mobility and practice…practice…practice..