How to SQUAT properly
The squat... no matter if you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or both, the squat is going to be one of, if not the best exercise for you to perform. BUT it is one of the most difficult to perform.
Every day I see lots of people doing squats, but only about 10% of them are doing them correctly. So, if you're not sure how to squat properly, or how to incorporate them into your workout schedule, you're not alone!
Squats are one of the most functional movements of life, we do one every single day. Even when we are babies, one of our most natural positions is to squat. As we grow older though, and we start sitting in an unnatural position in chairs and furniture, we forget proper squat form all together. Squatting not only strengthens your legs, but also your hips, back, core, shoulders, arms, and even knees! (so no more saying squatting is bad for your knees). Squatting hits almost every muscle in the body, so why not do it?
So, here are some tips to get you started! If you'd like a video demonstration, click here for more!
Tip 1: Leave your ego at the door. Especially if this is your first time squatting, you don't need to pack on a lot of weight just to feel "cool" or "strong", because like I said, the people that are doing a lot of weight, probably aren't doing it correctly anyways.
Tip 2: Keep your weight on your heels, the entire time.
Tip 3: Keep your body tight...Core tight, spine neutral, chest and shoulder up, and looking straight forward.
Tip 4: Breathe in on the way down, push your butt back, and break at the hip.
Tip 5: Go down until your parallel, or below! Whatever is comfortable.
Tip 6: Breathe out on way up, driving your knees out the same way you did on the way down, continuing to put weight on your heels. (you can test this by seeing if, on the bottom of your squat, your on your toes, thats a bad thing, stay back on your heels!)
Tip 7: The only way to get better, is to do the movement. You might feel uncomfortable at first, but give it time. It takes time to perfect this move. This is a compound movement, meaning multiple different muscle groups have to be firing all for the same purpose. DO NOT be too hard on yourself.
There are different variations of the squat as well, this is just the standard barbell squat. The same general rules that I discussed are applied to all versions of the squat.