Squats are one of the best lower body movements that you can do to get in shape. When you perform a squat many of your muscle groups will be involved. Squats are also an important movement to promote healthy hips and knees.
How to do a squat
The great thing about squats is that you don’t need any equipment to do them, you can just use your body weight. All you need to do is stick your butt back like you’re sitting down then stand back up. Make sure your feet are pointed straight ahead with your weight in your heels, keep your knees from caving inward. If you want to make the movement more challenging, you can add some weight or jump into the air during the movement. Adding weight to your squats is one of the best ways to make the exercise harder and there are many ways you can do this.Here are some ways you can add resistance to your squat:
Using a barbell is one of the best ways to improve your squat because you can continue adding weight to make the movement more challenging. Using a barbell works a lot of the core muscles too. The core needs to stabilize the weight that is on your back. Heavy squats break down muscle tissue which will help burn more calories.
If you’re new to the gym I would recommend hiring a personal trainer because you could get injured trying to do this movement on your own.
I recommend getting a fitness assessment from a personal trainer. Many gyms offer free assessments.
A personal trainer can help you build your barbell squat form from the ground up and teach you how to correctly do the movement on your own. Consulting with a fitness coach will pay off in the end.
One leg squat
An effective way to add resistance to a squat is to simply do a squat with one leg instead of two. This will double the amount of weight from the two-leg squat. If you are new to this, use a chair to sit down then pop back up using one leg. You can use the leg that is off the ground to assist if you can’t do the movement yet. If you’re still struggling, try doing a one leg press at the gym to build up the muscles for the one leg squat. The one leg squat is an effective way to even out the strength in your legs and it also helps improve balance. When you become better at the one leg squat try doing it on an unstable surface like a Bosu ball or a pillow.
If you’re afraid to use the barbell for squats dumbbells are a great choice. You don’t have to worry about making too many mistakes with dumbbell squats. You can hold the dumbbells by your shoulders and simply squat down and get back up. Make sure that your shoulders are back and your head is up when doing the movement, stick your butt back keeping the weight in your heels then slowly bring your butt down to the floor. If you’re struggling with the movement I would recommend hiring a fitness professional to help with your form.
Squatting down and jumping into the air is a quick way to step up the movement because you must overcome the force of gravity. It takes a lot of power to lift off the ground and after a few sets of jump squats you’ll feel your legs working. When you are ready to make the jump squat more challenging, try it with one leg.
How Squats Improve Health
Squats are an excellent way to keep all the systems in the body in shape. Your heart works harder to do the movement; your body builds stronger muscles and your bones will become stronger.
When you add squats into a strength program your day to day life will become easier because you will be able to lift heavier items without injuring yourself. You will be able to walk up the stairs without a problem because your body will be more efficient at preforming basic movements with the lower body.
Squats are a great way to improve fitness in almost any sport because it builds strength in the prime movers that you use while running, biking and many other sports. Preforming better in other areas of your life will improve your health.
The Take Away
Adding squats to your program is one of the best ways to see results fast. You work many different muscles and will see improvements quickly. If you can sit down and stand up then you can do squats but it’s always a good idea hire a fitness professional to get you started.