Squats are known as one of the best exercises. They work practically every muscle of your body, quads, hips, etc. But the truth is that squats are not easy, they are pretty hard no matter if you are a beginner or experienced squatter.
Look: there is no way to make a squat easier. Anyone saying the contrary is lying. They are hard, you will be out of breath and sweating after a few reps.
But hey! No problem! The best part is that this is good for you, and with time you will get use to it. You just need to learn how to make a propper squat, and in the following lines I will give some great tips for that.
Squats are extremely effective
Many of my clients ask me whats the best way to squat. To perform a squat correctly and get the best out of it you need to know how to do it the right form, and then you can start boosting your fitness level and get fast results. Squats and its variations are extremely effective in strengthening and building the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and the muscles that make up the calves.
You can squat anywhere with and no equipment
One of the many benefits of doing squats is that you can perform them just about anywhere and with no equipment, at home and just using your own body weight.
As with any other compound exercise, squats can cause injury and/or lose effectiveness if not performed properly so I will explain how to perform a squat the right way and how to improve your squats.
Tips to perform a propper squat
- Start by standing with the feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, parallel and straight forward, arms by your side.
- Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears, keeping the spine neutral and not rounded.
- Extend both arms out to where they are parallel to the floor and the palms are facing down.
- Inhale and unlock the hips, starting to push them back as the knees start to bend slightly. Push you butt out as if there is a chair or bench behind you and you are reaching to sit in it. Make sure the shoulders stay back, the chest is out, the back is straight and your eyes are facing forward.
- Sink down deep into your squat paying attention to the above adjustments, the optimal depth of a squat is where your hips are sinking below your knees (if your flexibility does not allow for such a deep squat, that’s ok, go as far as you can comfortably).
- Engage the core, keep your body weight in the heels, and explode upward pushing through the heels and imagine that your feet are spreading the floor apart.
Take advantage of its variations
Squats are already effective as they are but if you want more of a challenge as you start to gain strength, here are a few things you can try in order to perform squats correctly.
- The Goblet Squat: Performed in regular squat position, but instead of reaching your arms out, you’re going to be grasping a dumbbell with one fist stacked on top the other and hold it right in the center of the chest. Drop straight down without pushing the butt back, and drop the elbows just between the knees as you squat down. Return to starting position.
- The Sumo Squat: Standing with your feet wide apart and toes pointed outward, drop down until your thighs are parallel to your knees, return to starting position.
- The Jump Squat: Starting in the basic squat position, you’re going to squat down half way and then pushing off with the heels, Jump up to standing position and repeat.
Squats can prevent injuries
Adding squats to your workout routine can prevent injuries such as ACL tears by improving stability in the knees. Also, building up the glutes muscles by doing squats can prevent lower back pain.
Whether you are adding weights, plyometrics, or even doing them the traditional way, squats are a great way to get your lower body into the best shape ever and to improve your health, so keep going, keep improving, and never give up.