The squat is an excellent exercise to include in a routine. Both people that want to lose body fat and gain muscle will benefit from squat exercises. It can be performed anywhere and with no added equipment, however if you wanted to progress to advanced levels of muscle mass and strength you would want to add resistance in some form.
The basic premise of a squat is to squat from a standing position to as low as you can while maintaining a flat back aka neutral spine with feet planted firmly to the ground from heel to toe and then drive yourself back up to a standing position through force generated through all of your leg and buttock muscles. Ideally keep your abdominal muscle tight throughout also.
It’s worth while taking time to get this exercise as good as you can so here are a few extra handy tips to help:
- Start in a standing position with feet hip width apart, possibly experiment with slightly wider if you are taller than 6’1-2″. If no added weight, place hands out in front of your body around about chin height and about a foot or so in front of you and maintain that throughout the movement.
- Bend from the hips slightly first and then begin to push the knees outwards slightly as you begin to descend into the squat. Maintain a broad and upright chest and keep your shoulder blades pinched together throughout.
- Keep your weight transferred more towards your heels as you descend to the bottom of your squat. If you can wiggle your toes at the bottom of the squat, that’s a good sign your weight is in the ideal position.
- An ideal depth of squat is generally associated with having your hips parallel to or lower than your knees if viewed from a side on view without breaking out of a neutral spine.
- Once achieved your maximum depth, it is then time to drive up to a fully extended position while feeling your hamstrings, glutes and quads contract throughout.