Strength in the Squat
Looking to mix up your usual routine? We have the move for you: Squats! What's great about this move is that you can do this move at home or in the gym. Squats work your whole body. Your legs bend and straighten to move the weight. Your abs and lower back muscles stabilize your trunk while your legs move. If you add dumbbells or a barbell, you'll throw your shoulders and arms into the mix. With this move many muscles work at the same time, not just your legs!
To help you master this super move, here are some tips:
- Setup. Squat with your heels directly under your shoulders. This creates room for your belly to pass through your legs when you Squat down. It makes breaking parallel easier. If you have long thighs with a short torso, your heels should be slightly wider apart than if you have short thighs with a long torso. But your heels should always be about shoulder-width apart when you Squat.
- Squat. Your knees must be out to create space for your belly when you Squat down. Your knees and feet must be in line to avoid twisting your knee joint. Your toes must therefore be 30 degrees outward. This makes it easier to break parallel, keeps your knee joints safe and increases your Squat (by engaging your groin and glutes more). Don't Squat with your feet straight forward or you'll struggle to break parallel.
- Break Parallel. Squat down until your hips are below your knees. If your thighs are parallel to the floor, you aren't low enough. You must break the parallel. Be sure to keep your feet flat and to not raise your heels- or else you could lose your balance.
- Squat Up. Break parallel then stand back up while bringing your hips straight up. Keep your knees out, lock your hips, and stand straight.
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