Squats have been a staple in fitness for years! They are essential for daily activities such as rising from a chair, getting off the toilette and defining key body parts such as thighs, butt, and hamstrings. While everyone squats on a daily basis (without really knowing) very few people so them correctly. Desk jobs and long commutes in the car lead to tight hip flexors and butt muscles. Endless sitting throughout the day can ruin the integrity of a squat and lead to improper form and injury.
In order to get the most out of your squat we are providing you with our tried, tested, and trained ways to help gym goer get the most out of this exercise and avoid strained and pulled muscles.
Fitness Tips – How to do a Proper Squat
- As you lower your body down into a squatting position, push your butt and hips back as if you were going to sit on a chair. This signals the key muscle groups to activate (butt, quads and hamstrings)
- Afraid you’re going to fall ? – No worries, place a bench or step bind you. If you lose your balance you will end up sitting on the bench and not the floor.
- Tight hips – Many realize that their body won’t allow them to push their hips back. In this case, foam rolling and stretching should be your best friend. If you can’t sit back into a squat because your body won’t allow you into that position, you can’t activate your muscles completely. It is VERY important to address this issue, correct it (over the course of a couple weeks) and get the muscle firing! *We will include this flexibility exercise after the tips.
- Push Up From Your HEALS – This is a very common mistake. Some can do a proper squat but then push up from the middle of their foot and toes. This sways your body forward. In the process of swaying your body in a forward motion the hamstrings forget to fire and instead you will end up using your calfs.
- Activate Your Stomach Muscles – Draw your belly button in towards your spine. Hold this position as you do your squats. With some practice you will still be able to breath as you hold your stomach in. This works your core muscles (stomach muscles) and aids in stability. This trick should be used on all of your weight bearing exercises!
- Keep Your Knees Lined Up with Your Ankles – The worst squat ever is when people allow their knees to jet inward. Not only does this cause injury, it also creates imbalances in your muscles. To ensure that all 4 of your quad muscles activate, you must keep the knees aligned with you ankles.
- Knees Should Never Go Past Your Big Toe - Yes, your knees will come forward a bit. However, they should NEVER EVER go over your big toe. Try to keep your weight back as you sit to keep this from happening. Knees jetting forward will place significant force on the front of your knee and cause potential harm and pain.
- Chest Up – As you squat, keep your head up and chin level with the floor. Your spine is a source of stability and power. If you round your back as you squat it puts excess pressure on your back and neck.
*Lie facedown on the floor with a foam roller positioned above your right knee.
*Cross your left leg over your right ankle and place your elbows on the floor for support.
Our advice is to print these fitness tips out. Some of my clients would shrink the tips and place them on a 5 x 9 card so they could read it and store it as they moved through their exercise routine. We always encourage everyone to do squats since they play a significant role in daily activities. Not to mention, they burn TONS of calories. If you see someone at the gym doing these wrong or looking lost, give them a hand, show them your tips, and pass our site on. Fitness and health is all about learning, progressing and being consistent.
“We Love Helping You, One Tip At A TIme.”