We all know what a squat is, eh? Basically, we think of it as the thing that's gonna make our booty poppin'.
"The Squat" is a lower body exercise that you can do with just bodyweight, or also with added resistance. We're going to be mastering the bodyweight version of a squat, because we know once you're a professional, you'll be able to add weight as you please.
Squats mainly target your thighs, but also work on the glutes. Your core strength, back muscles, ankles, and calves also all get a workout during this favorite booty busting exercise.
When you're squatting right, you can
- Build your glutes up (yes, your butt)
- Strengthen your legs
- Improve bone and joint health
- Increase mobility in your lower body
When you're squatting wrong, you can
- Increase your risk of injury
- Stress your joints and ligaments
- Activate the wrong muscles
- Cause unwanted pain
Alright, here we go. It's time to do the best squats you've ever done in your life.
1. Get your foot stance right. Placing your feet shoulder width apart is fairly common practice, and it's going to give you a good foundation. You'll want to point your feet slightly outwards as well - by about fifteen degrees. If your feet are ever so slightly wider than hip distance apart, that's okay too. When it comes to your stance, you're going to find what feels the most comfortable for your body, because the perfect squat might be perfect, but it's just a little different for everyone.
2. Keep your abs tight. You don't want your core to be loose and unengaged when doing a squat, because then you'll put more strain on your other muscles. You want an overall balanced form where your entire body is working together to create that lift.
3. It's time to sit. Think of what it would feel like to sit in a chair, and then go for that motion. Your gaze should be forward.
4. Hinge your hips back and lower your body so it's parallel to the ground. Yep, parallel is best. If you're a beginner, this might be hard to get right the first few times, and you'll be higher off the ground than parallel. For advanced squatters, you may be able to dip even lower (although this could cause pain in your lower back). The perfect, standard squat though, is thought of with your legs parallel to the ground and your back straight. You'll want to think of your chest as "proud" where it is kept facing upward and not crunched in.
5. Now you're ready to stand up. Drive through your heels, and make sure that your feet are staying planted on the ground.
6. You know what's next. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
That right there, folks, is the perfect squat. While you're focusing on what exactly to do, here's a few things that you shouldn't be doing:
1. Allowing your knees to overhang. When you're squatting, you don't want your knees to extend over where your toes reach. Squat in front of a mirror to make sure your knees aren't going too far forward, or squat against a wall to make sure you're not over-extending.
2. Drive through your heels, and don't life them. Lifting your heels puts strain on your knees, which you absolutely don't want in a squat. You should be lowering all your weight into your heels, not lifting them.
3. Losing focus can derail your squat form. You should be looking straight ahead. If you're looking elsewhere, you're risking twisting your spine.
4. Speaking of your spine, you might feel the desire to curve forward while you're squatting. Rounding your back during squats is going to cause you pain in the end. Work on keeping your back completely straight and keeping your shoulders in line with your chest.
5. You might think you're getting in more gains, but squatting too quickly is a bad idea. Focus on your form instead of bobbing up and down as fast as you can. You're also likely to be more careless instead of getting the right movement in.
You've got no excuse now. It's time to squat to it. Your Cute(r) Booty awaits.