“You don’t know squat” or do you?
The squat is one of the best exercises you could do regardless of your fitness goals (weight loss, strength or mobility) it ticks all the boxes. It’s also one of the most poorly executed moves i’ve seen performed.
I hope to help you nail this move with this post so that you not only know the why’s of the squat but the how to. Let’s get our squat on the right way and reap its many benefits.
It’s a movement pattern that recruits multiple muscle groups over multiple joints (compound exercise). It no only works your core but your lower body ( thighs, butt etc) and when you add weight in to the mvt you’ll not only increase effort but adopt more muscle groups depending on the positioning of that weight. The squat is very much a champion move providing shape, strength, stability, mobility and an epic calorie burn as you increase muscle development over a large area.
Where to start?
Always start with the bodyweight squat and increase intensity through the use of tempo ( slowing down,pausing,speed in various stages of squat) then the introduction of weights. If you do this the results from your squat will be amazing and relatively injury free.
Start : Bodyweight 10-12 Reps x 3-4
Progression: Tempo 1/4, 4/1, 4/4 secs counts dow/up 10-12 Reps
Progression: Add weight ( Goblet Squat)
Progression: Tempo Goblet Squat
Progression: Change the squat type.
How to squat?
1. Feet should be slightly wider than hips, chest proud, shoulders down, toes pointing slightly out.
2. Focus straight ahead, weight evenly on heels and balls of feet.
3. Tighten entire body ( brace) engage core.
4. Bend together at hips, knees and ankles pushing the knees outward over middle toe.
5. Squat down aiming to have the crease of your hips below knees (mobility can be an issue you might need to work on other moves to improve this).
6. Drive through the floor with feet pushing the ground apart between them. Maintain this force upwards until back to start position.
If your not being coached think about how it feels ( bracing , can I feel my abs, butt ,thighs ? Is it just thighs etc and film it for your own feedback) once you start to improve you will feel how a good squat is.
Time to add some weight ?
Technique is largely the same when using weights , some considerations need to be made depending on where you have the weight. But these are the key points .
Stay braced throughout the full movement.
Keep control of the weight at all times don’t let the weight control the speed or move.
Remember to move down towards the floor with your butt between your feet. Down not back.
Coaching is a great way to work on improving but you can make some serious headway with the above tips. A final point for consideration is that everyone’s mobility varies so alterations will sometimes need to be made, it’s always best to take some professional advice to improve with this.