Squats are a simple yet highly effective exercise for strengthening your legs and glutes, as well as improving your overall balance and stability.
Steps to get started
To perform squats, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing straight ahead.
Begin the movement by bending at the hips and knees, lowering your body as if you’re sitting back in a chair. Keep your chest lifted and your back straight, and try to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, or as far as you comfortably can. Keep your knees aligned over your ankles, and don’t let them collapse inward.
Pause briefly at the bottom of the squat, and then push through your heels to return to the starting position. Exhale as you stand up, and inhale as you descend.
Repeat the movement for a set number of reps, and then rest for a few seconds before repeating the set.
Hints to know
To get the most out of squats, it’s important to use proper form and technique. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Maintain good posture
Keep your chest lifted, your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed. Avoid rounding your back or hunching forward, as this can lead to injury.
Keep your weight in your heels
As you descend, shift your weight into your heels, and push through them to stand up. This will help to engage your glutes and improve your balance.
Focus on proper knee alignment
Make sure that your knees are aligned over your ankles, and don’t let them collapse inward. This will help to protect your knees and prevent injury.
Warm up before you squat
Before you start your squat routine, take a few minutes to warm up your muscles. This can help to prevent injury and improve your performance.
Use appropriate resistance
Start with bodyweight squats, and then progress to using resistance such as weights or resistance bands. Make sure to use an appropriate amount of resistance, and don’t add weight until you’re comfortable with the movement.
Avoid bouncing at the bottom
At the bottom of the squat, pause briefly and then stand up smoothly and controlled. Avoid bouncing or jerking, as this can increase your risk of injury.
Listen to your body
Squats can be challenging, so it’s important to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and rest.
By following these tips, you can perform squats safely and effectively, and see improved strength and stability in your legs and glutes. Squats are versatile exercises that can be performed with or without weights and can be adjusted to suit your fitness level and goals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, squats are a valuable addition to any workout routine.