Squats are one of the most popular exercises out there, and rightly so! A squat is a functional movement that helps you build mobility, muscle bulk and gain strength. To perform a squat, your body recruits several major muscle groups. The regular variation of the type of squat you perform also challenges your nervous system to adapt and use different groups of muscles.
“The Perfect Squat”
Everybody’s anatomy is different. Your squat depth or stance might be different than the next person’s. Do your best to follow these tips to prevent injuries and gain all the benefits from a squat. If you are unsure, please don’t hesitate to speak to your practitioner or trainer in the gym.
- Stand with your feet hips width apart (or slightly wider). Angle your toes so that they point forward (or slightly outwards). Note: There are a few things that contribute to your squat stance. If you have tight glutes, toes pointed slightly outwards might be more comfortable. This stance also allows you to take on more weight (i.e. weight lifting).
- Engage the muscles in your core, legs and glutes as you lower your butt down and back (like you are sitting in a chair). Keep your weight in your heels and ensure your knees don’t track ahead of your toes.
- Sit to your lowest point, without letting your pelvis round. Maintain a straight spine and lifted chest. Note: Hip and ankle mobility might impact how low you can go.
- Return to standing by driving down through your heels and squeezing your glutes as you come up.
A little video from our friend Mike Boyle to help progress from a bodyweight squat to weight and resistance