Squatting is one of my favourite exercises it makes your legs and bum burn like hell and can be adapted in so many ways to keep thing interesting in your workouts! Its one of the best leg building exercises for your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes. The only problem with them is if your technique isn’t right it can lead to injuries and problems, also you won’t be hitting those areas that you really want to be hitting!
To do a basic no weighted squat, I have some basic techniques and tips that you can use to make sure you’re hitting the areas you want to be hitting in the most effective way possible.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart your toes should be facing forwards. Keep your hands in front of you. My natural position is imagining I’m holding a ball or a weight to my chest it makes me feel most stable but lots of people prefer different things arms out straight will give you the most stability. The biggest issue you find when you ask someone to squat is that their ankles roll inwards and the weight is all in the toes and the insides of the feet. Not only a potential injury waiting to happen. It doesn’t even target the muscles you are aiming for. Plus I can assure you, it doesnt look good and you look like you dont know what your doing. What you want to do instead is try and put your weight into your heels, I do this by lifting my big toe up its like a corrective measure so each time before i squat i just pick up that toe and then i know im in the right position. If it makes it easier put something small and solid under your toes (like a weight plate) and feel how different it is!
Keep your back flat and your chest upright you don’t want to be bending forwards else it could cause back problems and put you off balance, pick a point in front of you and picture pushing your chest towards that point that should ideally correct that problem. Make sure you’re always looking forwards, looking down at the floor often pushes your weight forwards over your toes. Your head is much heavier than you think! As you squat down imagine yourself sitting back into a chair. Push your hips and bum out backwards and lower yourself. Inhale on the way down. Make sure that your knees don’t pass in front of your toes when you are at your lowest point they should always be just behind them but at the same angle going outwards. You want to come down low enough so your bum passes below parallel with your hips. The lower you go the better! if you struggle with how low to go place something underneath of you where your bum would reach and try and touch that object every time you go down. Pause for a second before in that position.
As you stand back up out exhale and drive through the legs. Another major problem people find is when at their highest point of a squat or almost any leg exercise is that they straighten their legs too much. This is also huge injury risk and can lead to some pretty horrible things that can me found of youtube. Ideally you want to have a natural bend at the knees not too much you want to make sure you have finished the rep. Imagine pushing your hips forward and then tense your glutes. This helps you to target work those muscles more. Your head should still be up facing forwards and weight hsould be in the heels and balls of the feet.
There are so many different variations of squats you can use in your workouts which I will for sure cover in a future post! I hope that this is beneficial to some of you if you have any questions please feel free to send them to me!