How to Squat
You’ve probably heard and seen that toddlers perform the perfect squat. From an evolutionary standpoint, it seems that squatting comes naturally to us. Yet somewhere along the line, we lose this ability. While unfortunate, it is far from over.
Mastering the perfect squat form is relatively easy and has some amazing side effects on the posterior *wink*. In this blog post series, we will be covering everything squat-related. Let’s dive deeper into naturing the perfect form and mistakes you should look out for.
The initial setup is quite simple. We’ll look at an overview TL:DR and then a more in-depth form of the same.
The Basic Proper Squat Form
- Have your feet set slightly wider than your hips.
- Let your toes face an outward angle about 10 degrees. A wider stance will necessitate you to rotate your feet even wider.
- Pick a spot in front of you and fixate on that, ideally on a wall or stationery item.
- Center your focus on this throughout your routine.
Detailed Step-by-Step Approach to the Squat Form.
Step 1: Stand upright with your feet width apart.
Stand upright setting your feet apart, and ensure that your hips are slightly wide relative to your feet. Then place your hands on your hips. It’s go time!
Step 2: Engaging your stomach muscles.
Now that you’re standing up straight and tall. Pull your shoulders back, and slightly lift your chest. On the next exhale, pull your navel into your back to engage your deep abdominal muscles. This is vital in keeping your spine and pelvis steady.
Step 3: Sit on the Invisible chair
For this step try and keep your upper body as erect as possible. Bend your knees and lower yourself to imitate taking a seat. Your torso might tilt, this is natural. However, be keen to maintain the form and avoid collapsing your chest or rounding your shoulders forward.
It is very important to let this natural tilt happen as your hips will not release properly and too much strain will be put on your hips if your form is too erect.
Lower yourself as far down as possible ensuring your upper body only moves a few inches forward. If you have preexisting knee issues, lower yourself to just 90 degrees.
DO NOT allow your knees to cave inward or go too far forward. Ensure they stay aligned with your feet as you squat down.
Step 4: Pull back up and straighten your legs
Straighten your legs and avoid locking your knees when you’re finally standing. Try keeping your heels stationary to the floor as you squat, then drive them to the ground as you rise up to your base position. This will have an amazing effect on your glutes
Step 5: Do it again
You’ve come so far, I’m impressed. Just one last thing. Repeat the sequence 10 to 15 reps, 3 to 4 times a week.
Not mastering the right form negates all the progress you could have been making. While at the same time putting you under a lot of stress and injury. Let’s go through some of the common mistakes in passing. The topic is wide enough to warrant its own blog.
- Your knees fall past your toes
- Your shoulders and back are too relaxed
- Your squat is not deep enough
- You only do it once a week
How Many Squats Should You Do?
A daily routine is probably okay. A much more constructive routine should aim for three sets of 10-20 reps 3 times per week. Allowing your body enough time to recover and recuperate.
You’re probably curious about how many calories squats burn. This is a hard one to crack, factors such as height, weight, fitness level, and muscle/fat ratio are critical in our own metabolism. However, mastering the correct form and getting the best out of it. Recruiting as many muscles as possible. makes all the difference. Leaving you healthier and more fit.
Here's one of my videos to help you get started. It's a modified version that's good for beginners, especially if you have tight calves and limited mobility in your ankles.
Check out the recorded live Zoom Pilates mat class to get a feel for what you can expect https://www.vital7.com/vital7/
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