Squatting is one of the most popular exercises that people can do almost everywhere. This type of exercise targets your muscles in the lower back, core, and legs. It also helps us in burning fat and strengthens muscles in the lower body. However, like other types of exercises, doing squats may lead to injuries if done improperly. If you want to engage yourself in squatting exercises, you need to know some details to prevent getting into an accident.
Anybody can perform squats and there are many varieties that you can choose that your body will benefit from. Here are the steps in doing traditional squats:
- Start in a standing position where your feet are shoulder-width apart, and your toes should be pointing at least 45 degrees outward. Raise your hands forward and hold.
- Proceed with bending your knees to push your hips backward while keeping your torso upright and back straight. It is as if you are sitting back in a chair.
- Push back up and straighten your legs as soon as your knees reach a 90-degree angle or lower.
Knowing the basic steps of squats, you need to remember that you must follow the proper form to increase results and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Make sure that your knees are in line with the feet
- Remember to put your weight on the balls of your feet to prevent tilting forward
- Plant your heels on the floor for the duration of squats
- Keep your torso upright and back straight at all times
Doing squats is one of the most effective exercises in increasing athletic performance. It is also convenient to do this exercise because it does not need any equipment. Some of the benefits of doing squats include:
- Making your muscles in the legs, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves stronger
- Strengthening your knee joints
- Supports weight loss by burning fat
- Strengthening your lower back
- Enhancing your lower body’s flexibility
For every good exercise, there will always be disadvantages for people performing it. Knowing them will help you reduce the risks of injuries by adjusting your performance. If you are doing squats without the proper form, you might feel pain in your knees. You should always keep your knees in line with your feet while doing squats.
Using weights for squatting can also increase the risk of injury and damage your lower back and knees. It would be best to have a trainer beside you if you want to do glutes, requiring squats with weights.
The variations of squats have different benefits for those who perform them. Here are some that you may consider trying:
A wall squat is a regular squat but needs a wall as the guide. Here are the steps:
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart in front of a blank wall
- Bend your knees and squat down while your back is against the wall
- When your thighs are parallel to the ground, hold that position for a few seconds, then go back up
Wall squats are great for people who want to increase the muscular endurance in their legs. You can also relieve some pressure off your knees when doing wall squats.
Box squats focus on your hamstring muscles and your glutes, which requires a bench or a box to execute the exercise.
- Stand in front of a bench or a box, facing the opposite way
- Squat down until your knees reach a 90-degree angle to sit on the bench or the box
- Slowly push back up while keeping your heels flat on the floor
Squat jumps add more cardiovascular benefits than a regular squat because it requires more effort to perform the exercise. A squat jump requires a person to do a regular squat but needs to jump up with force going back to the starting position.
Doing squats is a proven way of strengthening your body and promotes a natural way of getting in shape. There are many more variations of squats that you can try like goblet squats, lateral squats, and pistol squats, that have different effects and results when you perform them. You might also want to know the differences between front and back squats to enhance your workout sessions.