If you want the best workout routine possible and you don’t currently incorporate squats into that workout, you might want to consider it. Squats are some of the best overall exercise that are available today and experts predict that you can easily improve your total overall workout by ten percent or more just by adding this one exercise. However, if you are going to do squats, you need to make sure that you are doing them correctly. Not only will the wrong form not give you the benefit you want to get from doing squats, the wrong form may actually cause a serious injury if it’s done with heavy weights.
Preparing for Squats
When you do squats for the first time you are going to want to do them without any weight. You can add weight later on when you get the form down perfectly, but until then, you are just asking for an injury. Even if you have done squats before, you may want to improve your form. The better your form is, the more benefit you will get out of this exercise and the more weight you will be able to lift.
If you’re wondering why squats are so highly recommended it’s because they have so many different benefits and work so many different muscle groups. They are also great for extending your flexibility, improving the function of the muscles that they work and helping your metabolism work faster and better.
As for the muscles that they work, they include: quadriceps (quads), hamstrings, lower back muscles, middle back muscles and of course, your glutes. Squats are harder than many exercises but they are well worth it and work more muscles than just about any other exercise out there.
How to do Squats Properly
The first thing that you want to do is set up the bar properly. Remember, you aren’t going to use any weight at first – just the bar. You should keep it just below your shoulder blades when it is sitting on the rack to be picked up.
You grip the bar as narrow as you can without it feeling strained or uncomfortable. Lift your chest up and flex your upper back muscles. This is your posture during the lift.
Remove the bar from the rack with a mini squat and then take a couple of steps backwards – carefully. Your feet should end up shoulder width apart. Look at the wall right in front of you without tilting your head and lift, with the lower back neutral and your chest squeezed.
Lower the bar, making sure that you bend at the hips first. Many people want to break at the knee but this isn’t the proper way to do it. You’ll know if you are doing it right because your posterior will go out instead of your knees. As you lift, making sure that your knees are right in line with your toes. Keep that line during the entire lift and make a smooth, easy squat that you can feel working the muscle groups it is supposed to.