Beach weather is fast approaching for most of us and if you haven’t stuck to your New Year’s Resolutions, now’s the time to get back into the swing of things. While we all like to focus on getting a chiseled chest or a sculpted 6 pack, we can’t forget legs / lower body. Squats are one of the most popular lower body exercises and one of my go to exercises for leg day. Whether you’re a newbie at the gym this is a good overview of how to do a squat properly, and if you’re already a gym rat – it’s a good review.
How To Do Squats
Because squats work several muscle groups simultaneously, they’re a popular choice for those that want to burn a few extra pounds! Most personal trainers seem to incorporate squats into their clients workouts for this reason. They’re also an awesome exercise if you’re looking to add some serious muscle! Before you start grabbing massive amounts of weights, make sure that you’ve mastered the basics first. Here’s a tip that my personal trainer taught me. Practicing this simple body weight squat will help you become more comfortable with the movement.
1. Grab a chair and take it in front of a mirror. If you’re at the gym, you can do this with a weight bench in front of a mirror as well. The idea is that you need to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you’re doing the basic movement properly.
2. Standing in front of the chair or bench, keep your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
3. Lead with your butt and sit down. Make sure your knees are pointing forward (not out).
4. Now stand back up without leaning forward. Sometimes it helps to hold your hands together in front of you.
5. If you’re able to stand up without leaning forward, you’re doing a squat pretty well. Try it again and this time make sure your knees aren’t moving beyond your toes as you lower yourself down.
6. Keep your abs tight at all times and don’t arch your back.
This is a great warm up to your leg workout, but it can also be a great workout itself. Practice this movement for a couple sets and when you feel comfortable, do it without the chair or bench. As you get better with the basic movement just using your own body weight you’ll be ready to start adding some weight and trying a couple different squat variations.