LIFESTYLE NEWS - Squatting is a great exercise for those looking to build their strength, endurance, and muscle.
It may look quite simple to do, but many people unknowingly squat incorrectly, which could potentially lead to injury. Added to this, squatting incorrectly also makes the exercise itself ineffective as you are unlikely to reap the full benefits of a squat.
Here are some top tips to keep in mind when squatting, whether you’re at home or at the gym:
1.Get into the proper squat position
To do this, you have to make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Your feet should also be slightly turned outward at about 30 degrees max. How far your feet turn outwards depends on your body’s anatomy and your comfort level, but as long as they aren’t turned too outwards, then you’re in the proper squat position.
2.Create stability by making sure your feet are grounded on the floor
By grounding your feet on the floor, you ensure that your body is in alignment and is stable. You also ensure that your muscles are engaged and as a result, this will prevent the arches of your feet from collapsing, which often leads to knees caving in during squats and can lead to injury.
3.Make sure your chest stays up
When you think of squats, it’s likely that you only think about engaging your lower body, but the truth is that in order to do proper squats, you also have to engage your upper body too. By keeping your chest up, you prevent your upper back and shoulders from becoming round. Rounded shoulders and a rounded upper back will put a lot of pressure on your spine, which can be quite dangerous, especially if you’re choosing to squat with weights.
4.Bend your knees and push your hips back
To do a squat, you have to make sure your knees are bent and your hips are pushed back, almost as if you’re getting ready to sit down. You should then make sure your core is engaged as you lower your body as this will give you stability. Try not to rush as you lower your body, but make the movement as controlled as possible. This will condition your muscles. It’s recommended that you inhale as much as possible when you descend and make sure that your knees are slightly above your toes when you are in your squat position.
5.Your squat should stop when the back of your thighs are aligned with the floor
As soon as your thighs are parallel to the floor, you should stop the squat. It’s important to keep in mind that this can vary depending on your comfortability and whether or not you are may be recovering from an injury. Everybody is different, so pay attention to how your body feels as you do the squat. You can pause for a second once you’ve reached your desired depth before ascending.
6.As you ascend from your squat, make sure your feet stay grounded
Planting your feet firmly to the ground and ensuring that you use your heels to stand back up will help you build the muscles on the back of your legs. This will also help you activate your glutes. Be sure to breathe out as you stand up from your squat. End off the squat by making sure your body remains central. Your pelvis should be tucked back into the centre of your body.
By using the tips above, you can ensure that you have the correct posture when squatting so that you get the benefits of building muscle, endurance, and strength.