Your upper legs and glutes are powerful fat burning machines when in prime condition. Squatting is a basic human movement, but many of us have poor habits and/or weak muscles to support the movement. The major muscles worked in the squat are your upper legs and glutes, but to perform a squat well you must also engage your core muscles to prevent lower back injuries.
how to do a squat.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed forward, weight on your heels. Keeping your shoulders back and down, clasp your hands together in front of your chest (like you’re praying). Focus on pulling the belly button into the spine, keeping your back straight, and keeping your head up. Inhale and begin the move by bending at the hips, pushing the buttocks back as your knees begin to bend and bringing your elbows to the insides of your knees. Keeping your knees over your feet, continue to push the buttocks back and bend at the knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Exhale and straighten your legs to return to the starting position.
technique & proper body mechanics for the squat.
One of the best ways to make sure you perform a squat properly and avoid knee and back injuries is to imagine there is a vertical band connecting your elbows to your knees. As you bend into or come out of the squat, maintain a straight vertical line between your elbows and the insides of your knees.
If your knees are bending in front of your toes, you are leaning forward too far and risk damaging the knees and causing back strain.
If your chest and shoulders are rising to starting position before your knees and hips, you risk straining your back muscles. Do not use your back to lift back to starting position. Instead, your back/chest should return to starting position as you straighten at the hips and knees, keeping your weight on your heels and lifting with your legs.
If you are unable to perform squats with good form, start with a chair or wall squat. The moves are basically the same. For a chair squat you will place a chair behind you to lower yourself into, using only your leg muscles to push yourself back to standing position. For a wall squat, start with your back flat against a wall, feet out in front far enough to allow you to slide down the wall. You may only be able to lower yourself until your legs are at a 60- or even a 45-degree angle at first, but work on lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor (legs are at a 90-degree angle). Hold the position as long as you can, then slide back up the wall.
post squat stretch.
Using a chair for support if needed, squeeze one leg at a time up to the chest and then bend one leg at a time behind you up to the buttocks to release the leg muscles.
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No matter what your fitness level, you can jump into this 30-day challenge and get your health & fitness journey started. Let your body and your knowledge of your time, commitment, and fitness level determine what intensity is best for you. Over 30 days, you will complete 8 basic moves 5 days each week. You’ll start out small, but if you choose to start and progress at suggested levels, you should be able to do the following at the final workout:
- Cardio Warm-Up – 10 minutes
- Push-ups – 45
- Squats – 45
- Bench Dips – 45
- Glute Bridges – 45
- Plank Rows – 90 (45 each side)
- Lunges – 90 (45 each side)
- Basic Plank – 2 minutes
- Side Jackknives – 90 (45 each side)
- Cool-Down Stretch
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