Squats are one of my favorite movements for a few reasons: 1. It is a very practical movement. We need to be able to squat every time we sit down in a chair or use the bathroom. 2. It uses large muscle groups in the legs so it not only burns more calories than a bicep curl, but as the leg muscles develop, they contribute to a higher metabolic rate over all (calories burned throughout the day). 3. The squat is a foundation movement for more advanced exercise. Once a basic squat can be performed, weight can be added for more resistance, plyometrics can be added with a jump squat, or another muscle group can be added for a total body exercise (example: squat to shoulder press). 4. It gives us females that desired butt lift. (There is nothing vain about wanting to feel good and look good!)
I do hear a lot of people tell me that they can not squat due to an injury (usually a knee injury). While injuries are not something to just ‘work through’, many times I find that the squat is not being performed properly and putting too much stress on the knee, or the individual has very weak glutes and quads and can not support the knee properly.
Muscle Groups: Legs: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
*Stand tall with the gaze strait ahead.
*Initiate a squat with a knee bend
*As the knees bend past 10 degrees, push the hips back and keep bending the knees.
*Descend into the squat
*Squat back up and repeat pattern
If you don’t feel that you are ready for body weight squat, a stability ball supported squat is a great way to start. Just place a stability ball on your lower back while standing against a wall, and squat as if sitting down in a chair, then stand back up. You can also start with a wall sit which is an isometric movement to strengthen the legs to prepare them for a squat. Just stand against the wall with feet out in front of you and slowly slide your hips down the wall, until your legs from a 90 degree angle at the knee and the quads are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 15 -30 seconds to start, then keep adding 15 seconds as your legs get stronger.