Exercises: the squat

January 24th, 2013 · by Josh · Blog, Exercises

The exercise I use in almost every programme I prescribe, and for me the most beneficial all round movement the human body can do, is the squat!

If you’re looking to strengthen your legs, add tone or even increase your endurance or power for a specific sport the squat should be an integral part of your exercise routine.

What is a squat?

The squat is classed as a compound movement, which means that it’s a multi-joint movement that works several muscles at once. The squat targets primarily the Quadriceps, Hamstrings and the Glutes, or in plain English the thighs, hips and buttocks. This exercise also helps to develop and strengthen the core (muscles around the waist) when squatting using the correct form.

There are many variations to the squat but it’s crucial to master the basic movement. Many injuries have occurred due to poor form or overloading with too much weight without first mastering the correct technique.

How to do a squat?

1. The first thing is to stand in a neutral position, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly flexed with a nice tall posture (try and feel your spine pointing up towards the ceiling like a pencil)

2. Next extend your hands out in front of you to help you keep your balance

3. Now sit back and down and have the feeling of sitting in an imaginary chair, making sure you keep your head facing forwards to keep as much height in your spine as possible letting your lower back arch slightly as you descend

4. Your knees should be over your ankles at this point and you should feel your body weight in your heels. A good check point is to try to get your thighs as parallel to the ground as possible

5. From here push back through your heels to the standing position avoiding any forward movement with the upper body

Girl doing squat exercise

Squat exercises

If you’re new to this exercise, I would suggest starting with 1-2 sets of 8-20 repetitions each. Try to incorporate this exercise into your regular fitness routine at least twice a week.

Enjoy!

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