Squats are not just mere leg exercises, like many assume. They actually are a full body exercise that work lots of muscle groups at once. Squats can easily help you lose weight or fat, depending on your goal. It may look easy, but in fact, a squat is a very dangerous movement if done wrong.
If it is executed poorly, not only the exercise won’t be effective, but the risk of injury will be very high.But the movement has plenty of benefits and helps you develop strength and endurance. As a plus, squatting can improve circulation, digestion and posture, and can help you shape and define sculpted thighs and buttocks. Consider increasing the weight as you progress. This will continue to challenge your body and raise your metabolism.
A perfect squat requires a muscular coordination throughout the body. And because of its very high metabolic demand, it can help you build muscle and burn fat at the same time. If performed correctly, squatting will help you to:
Putting too much pressure on your lower back and not enough on your legs will cause you a major injury. Unfortunately, this is the most common mistake we get to see really often. If done wrong, squatting can seriously hurt your knees and lower back.
How To Fix It
Standing on your toes while bending – keep your heels on the ground the entire time is the best thing you can do. Your toes should be able to move while squatting.
Knee positioning – keep your knees in line with your feet and bring them above your toes at the end of the squat. Keep your knees out to the sides or you could be twisting your knee joints.
Back positioning – maintain the natural curve in your lower back and do not over-arch it. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
Head positioning – do not look up because this might hurt your neck. Keep looking straight forward, with your chin in a position that a tennis ball could fit between it and your chest.
Losing balance – if you squat lift and the bar comes over your toes, you will end up in loosing balance forward. The same will happen if the weight moves to your ankles and you will lose balance backwards. You need to keep the bar over your mid-foot at all times.
Descending too quickly – when you add weights to your squats and you move too quickly, you could easily increase the chances of injury. You are more likely to maintain a proper position if you squat a little slower.
Not warming up – it is critical that you warm up before squatting, to prepare the joints and muscles for movement. It is better to warm-up before any activity in the gym. Use glute bridges to open up your hips and any other warming up exercise to help prepare you for movement.
When squatting, technique is a critical aspect of your workout. A good squatting technique should not hurt your back and knees and should bring all the benefits we mentioned before. Let’s see some of the variations you can do and how to properly execute them.
The Bodyweight Squat
Kettlebell, Dumbbell, or Medicine Ball Squat
Barbell Front Squat
The Low Bar Back Squat
The High Bar Back Squat
Starting a squat is easy. The position itself is very comfortable and it will give you the chance to have a proper workout. Make sure you warm-up before you attempt to squat, and incorporate it into your routine as a regular exercise. For extra protection and assurance, look into gear that will protect your knees and your quads and hamstrings during your training.
Squats are an incredibly valuable exercise for building strength and losing body fat, and the benefits we pointed out will highlight every aspect of your fitness. If you are willing to learn how to squat correctly, you will be rewarded with consistent progress and limited injury risk.
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