Yes, our PT is Teaching us how to do the perfect squat
If you’re a fitness junkie then the word ‘squat’ will be pretty familiar and one of the top three words in your gym vocabulary. If your slightly new to fitness, or completely new. This article is perfect for you!
The Squat! As people may have told you, the squat has many variations. Some are a real variation and others mean the squatter says so! Basically, the exercise has many variations but some variations don’t do the good they are supposed too! Squats will massively help you in your fitness journey. Squatting takes a lot of time to master so don’t be put off if you find yourself struggling your first attempts.
So very often, the squat is called the number one exercise to achieve goals, and by god does it love up to that name. A lot of newbies think the squat only works the legs! Think again, the squat works the whole body! From all the major muscles such as your Quadriceps and Glutes right through to the tiny Stabilising muscles running up the spine and right across the abdominal region. The exercise is intense and tricky to master so my top tip would be to practise with an empty Olympic bar or if that is too heavy, use a 10kg barbell. You need a little weight for your body to have some resistance to work against. Start low and work your way up.
Major benefits of squatting (warning! We may get a little technical here)
- Muscle Hypertrophy: Building Muscle, we all want to build muscle and adding squats to your programme is an excellent way to achieve this – added to a good clean diet of course!
- Strength Gains: Yes. Strength does come with muscle building and again if we want strong legs I suggest you add squats to your training programme.
- Increased Flexibility: Squats also increase flexibility in the legs and by increasing flexibility we are also increasing our strength and muscle building – yes deeper squats mean more strength and power of those legs!
The Perfect Squat
There are so many things you need to think about when performing a Squat, such as the positioning of your feet, the length of your stance, your spine alignment and weight selection. Follow the simple steps below in order to correctly perform a Squat;
- Keep your head up and looking ahead at all times
- Make sure your chest is up, out and proud – Never let it drop
- Your buttocks are the first thing to move in the squat – Let your Glutes lead the way
- As you squat keep your knees in line with your toes – Don’t let them buckle in at any time
- Keep your abs braced and core tight – Remember this is a full body workout so switch on your stomach and squeeze
- Keep your shoulder blades pulled back as this gives the bar a solid base to balance upon – Remember it is your back supporting the weight, not your hands
- Keep on going down under! Once you hit parallel don’t stop, keep going as low as you can. The deeper the squat the better. If you feel your chest beginning to fall forward that is the time to squat back up. Your full Range of Movement (ROM) will improve with practise
- As you rise, squeeze your glutes as the top of the movement, this will keep your lower back safe and secure
So they are my top tips for a perfect Squat. Remember, if you’re not squatting you should be but never compromise your form over an ego boost – Quality over Quantity!
By Jason Porter, My Fitness Agent