Squats are one of the most dynamic and powerful exercises on the planet! No other exercise has so many variations or is as beneficial for women of EVERY fitness level. In the Strong4Me workout we love the squat. It’s incorporated in our warm ups, imbedded into the workouts and modified with resistance bands to help you pump up your powerhouse legs every day!
The ONLY thing to remember about a successful squat is that you maintain good form. The right technique prevents injury and builds sculpted glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and even tones up your back and abdominal muscles. When you’re looking to get the most out of your workouts, perfect squats are where it’s at!
Why are Squats Important?
Squats build muscle throughout the whole body. They improve both lower and upper body strength. Even the core gets a good workout. Although the major focus is the leg muscles, squats really can engage every muscle group.
'I like to find easy ways to fit in my workouts in the day. Strong4Me workouts are 30-minute workouts that you can do at home or anywhere you are with very limited equipment.' - Kate Upton
Do’s and Don’ts for the Perfect Squat
DO: Keep your Head Up
Position the head up so the spine aligns correctly and is not bent or crooked. The most efficient way to do this is, while standing straight up on an elevated spot.
Eyes should focus on a certain object in the room. This ensures the head is up and without bending the neck.
DO: Stick Out your Chest and Keep Your Shoulders Back
Proper posture is important when doing a squat. Keeping the chest out and shoulders back is another way to ensure spinal alignment will be intact. Having proper form when doing any exercise is important, especially when doing squats. The number one goal of this technique is to prevent injuries during the exercise.
DO: Keep Your Back Flat
It is important to have a flat back when doing squats, but a slight arch in the lower back. Having a flat back does not mean bending over. It means keeping the back as straight as possible in the squatting position. There will be a natural bend in the lower back, but try to keep it to a minimum.
DO: Position the Feet for a Solid Foundation
When doing squats, make sure the feet are shoulder width apart (no wider than the shoulders). When squatting down, imagine sitting in a chair. Keep the knees behind the toes. Take slow breaths when going down and coming up. Slow and easy is the way to go.
DO: Add Weight in Moderation
It is important not to overexert while mastering the perfect squat. Think about the goal and set weight limits accordingly. If working to build muscle and strength, then gradually increase the weight over time. Add a few more pounds each week. If the goal is to simply tone up, find a comfortable workout weight and increase reps over time. Remember, this is extra weight on the knees and joints.
DON’T: Duck Your Head Down
Bending the head down will throw off alignment in the spine, making you injury more likely.
DON’T: Bend or Over-arch Your Back
This also causes misalignment in the spine and can cause injury.
DON’T: position Your Feet Too Wide
Unless it’s for a short time to work a different muscle group, keep don’t overdo it with wide feet. The wider the feet, the less stability. If feet are too wide, it causes a shaky foundation. Imbalance could cause a fall and injury. Talk about an embarrassing setback.
DON’T: Pile on the Weights Too Soon or Too Fast
This is especially important for beginners. Sure, it’s tempting to impress, but this is not about anyone else. Do not use a large amount of weight for extended periods of time. it is not necessary pile on weight to get all the benefits from a perfect squat. Take your time, do what you can and get stronger every day.
Looking for a way to get stronger and incorporate the all-powerful squat into your daily routine? Check out Strong4Me Fitness today!