Let’s begin with understanding the exercise first. Many of you who have already done this exercise might know its importance. For new people, squatting is the basic body-weight exercise that helps train your entire legs and strengthens them. There are several variations of this exercise; some require equipment, whereas others can be done anywhere without equipment. Beginners should always start with basic squats, i.e., body-weight squats, and gradually upgrade with weights and other variations. It is recommended that you ask the trainer or an expert about the proper form of doing the exercises you are planning.
Significant Benefits of Squat
1. They Help You to Lift Heavy Things Safely
Squats will give you the strength to lift heavy objects safely. The correct way to lift things is by using your lower body and not your back. By doing this you reduce the risk of lower back injury.
2. They are Time Efficient
With proper form, squats tone your lower body muscles quicker than other exercises you may do. In addition, you’ll experience faster and more efficient toning with squat variations.
3. They Can Prevent Injuries
Squats strengthen ligaments, stabilizer muscles, and connective tissues and can prevent related injuries. The proper form of squat is also useful in improving knee stability.
4. They Are Functional Fitness
Functional exercises help our body to perform daily activities more easily. Being one of the best functional exercises, squats promote mobility, balance, and flexibility with real-world benefits.
5. They Require No Fancy Equipment
There are dozens of squat variations which you can perform using some equipment. But you can do the old-fashioned squat anytime, anywhere, and without equipment.
Basics of Proper Squat Form
- Make sure your feet are a little wider than hip-width and your toes are facing front while you stand.
- Drive your hips back while slightly bending at your knees and ankles. Press your knees slightly open.
- Keep your toes and heels on the ground, shoulders back, and chest up while you squat.
- Strive to hold your thighs parallel, i.e., knees should be bent to an angle of 90-degree.
- Strengthen your legs and press into your heels to get back to an upright standing position.
How to Do a Squat Correctly?
Stand straight and place your feet apart, a bit wider than your hips. You can stretch your arms in front of you for balance.
Gently pull your shoulders back and subtly lift your chest while standing up straight. While exhaling, try to tighten your deep abdominal muscles, which keep your spine and pelvis stable.
Keep your upper body as straight as possible while bending your knees as if you were sitting in an invisible chair behind you. You can allow your torso to tilt naturally while you squat, but don’t collapse your chest or shoulders forward. Your knees shouldn’t go too far forward.
Straighten your legs, and return to the starting position. Be careful and avoid locking your knees when you return to a standing position. Instead, maintain your heels on the floor while you squat.
Repeat the above steps for two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.