The squat. It’s almost like nature’s perfect exercise. It’s a compound exercise which means it works more than one muscle at the same time. It’s a functional movement that helps you perform everyday activities.
We’ve been squatting since we were babies, but years of sitting in unnatural positions can take the ability to squat away from us.
It’s also an exercise you can do anywhere because unless you’re adding extra weight, your body weight will suffice.
While you can find squatting in pretty much every fitness program you do, it’s an exercise that is often done improperly.
How to squat properly.
If you’re a beginner the first thing you want to do is make sure you’re either on stable ground (if you’re barefoot), or are wearing shoes. Standing on an unstable or soft surface will make it a bit tougher to get your form correct.
You want to stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed outwards. Try varying degrees of turning your toes out until you feel comfortable standing in this position.
From there engage your core, bend at your knees and waist as if you’re about to sit in a chair. You want to keep your weight in your heels on both the down and up motion. Push up through your heels back to standing to help prevent any knee pain.
One thing you also have to be mindful of is your knees. Make sure your knees are not caving in towards each other. You want your knees to track over your feet whenever you’re doing a squat.
Squat down until your hips are in line with your knees. If you have trouble getting down this low, start slowly by sitting onto a surface like a chair to complete your squat, then work your way up to not needing it.
The benefits of squats.
There are many benefits to performing squats regularly.
They strengthen your core. This can help with regular everyday activities and can relieve back pain.
They reduce your chance of injury. Squats help with strength, form, mobility, coordination, and posture which in turn can save you from an injury.
They’re a big calorie burner. If weight loss is your goal, doing high-intensity compound movements like squats can burn a lot of calories per hour.
Workouts don’t get boring. There are SO many squat variations you can do after mastering a regular bodyweight squat that your workout will never get boring.
You can do them anywhere. Unless you’re using equipment to make your squats tougher, this is an exercise you can do from anywhere with a small amount of space.
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