Love or hate them; squats are one of the most effective workouts. Nonetheless, you need to do it properly to optimize effectiveness and avoid injuries.
Compared to other exercises, a squat uses several muscle groups and joints at various movement stages.
In particular, your hips are hanging back, your torso moves down, and your knees move to and from the side.
Want to know how to squat properly? Let’s dive right in!
How to Squat Properly
Learning to squat properly could be a bit challenging at first. Here are a few steps to the perfect squat.
Step 1: The Starting Position
Stand straight with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart and your toes facing up or looking forward. If you lack ankle mobility, a broader stand with angled feet could work better. The key here is to be stable and comfortable.
Stand on the line with your toes so that one foot isn’t facing the other. Maintain your square and level hips. Try to keep your toes slightly pointing outwards. This will help keep you balanced when you descend. Relax your shoulders, and make sure your chest isn’t tense.
Face straight ahead, with your arms spread out before you. Align your glutes to balance your pelvis with the imaginary parallel line traced from the left to the right of your feet.
Just look forward and keep your head and chest up. Look straight, not up or down, and keep your neck in a comfortable position. Pull back down your shoulders and pull your core muscles together.
Keep your spine stacked neutrally during the entire exercise. Don’t lean or turn your back, although the natural curve in your lower back should still be maintained.
Inhale, stick out your buttocks and bend your elbows. Try to shift yourself so your weight doesn’t depend entirely on your toes. Try to shift that weight to your heels instead.
Step 2: The First Move
Push out your buttocks and look directly ahead. Lean back on your heels with your body weight.
Move down till your hip joints become a bit lower than your knees. This type of squat is called a partial squat because the hip joints aren’t below the knee.
Step 3: Get Into a Full Squat
Hold your arms before you or hold hands together and stand ahead.
Be sure that you are in sync with your feet in your pelvic area and shouldn’t bypass your toes. Your shoulders must be pulled back; the chest must be held close, and the glutes squeezed.
Hold that position for a few seconds.
Step 4: Get Back Up
Exhale and prepare to get up again. Keep your body weight on your heels, your back retroactively pinched, and your chin high. Squeeze the thighs and glutes together. Hold your legs straight and keep your legs stable.
Step 5: Repeat
Inhale again, descend to the place of the squat, and hold for a few seconds. Be slow when you start squatting. Don’t rush or panic. Doing one correct squat is more effective than a few wrong ones.
Squatting isn’t that tough after all, as you can see. You just have to be alert, careful, and a little cautious.
Common Squats Mistakes
To anyone trying this exercise for the very first time, there are some common pitfalls that all newbies happen to fall into. The ones below are the most common mistakes that people face as well as how to correct them.
You’re Not Dropping Down Enough
Squats can be significantly more effective when you drop down as low as possible (with the hip section lower than the knee joint).
The key is to assume a much wider position. This makes it easier for the body to keep stable as you squat further and use more muscle groups.
You Drift Your Knees Inwards
Often, when we get used to challenging squats, our knees give in, but that can be risky.
To avoid this, turn your feet out. Bringing both your knees and hips in line can help prevent damage and get you into a deeper squat. Gluten bridges and lying clam workouts keep the knees in place.
Your Body Bends Too Far Forward
It’s easy to lean over to help maintain your balance when you’re carrying dumbbells. This brings pressure in many incorrect places in your body.
When you fall into a squat, put most of your weight in your heels. The even distribution of weight will keep your torso upright instead of pushing you forward. It’ll also help you keep your hips out of your heels.
Here are a few frequently asked questions that you might find yourself asking when you start squatting for the first.
Can squatting help with weight loss?
Of course! Squatting can be intense if done by weights or dumbbells. It engages many areas in your body and can help you develop muscles in your thighs and stomach.
Regular squatting can help burn enough calories, and in turn, help you lose weight.
Can regular squatting improve my posture?
In short, yes. Engaging in that exercise on a regular basis can help improve your posture. This can be achieved if you perform it correctly. If you follow the instructions on how to do proper squats down to the dot, you can improve your posture by time.
Can squats make you shorter if done for a long period?
Yes, but the effects are only temporary. In theory, squats can make you shorter because when you squat, you compress your spine slightly, If this exercise is done regularly, the continuous compression on the spine can make you slightly shorter.
If you notice this, you can start doing stretching exercises, as these help in reversing the effect.
Anyone can squat properly with some practice! Follow the directions to learn how to perform this easy and highly impacting workout. Doing squats is basically three motions, the technicalities all lie behind how you do these three steps.
Remember to stand still and look forward, with your toes pointing outwards. With your arms placed in front of you, descend slowly to the ground, as low as your knees can hold you. Then slowly get back up.