A squat can be performed many different ways, however, today we will walk through the basic squat.  After all, when it comes to working out, you must be strong with the basic movements in order to advance forward to more complicated exercises.  Bodybuilders and Cirque Du Soleil acrobats didn’t start at their athletic build automatically.  Learning the basic fundamentals are key to advancing towards any weight loss or athletic goals you may have.

Here are the basic techniques to get you ready to perform the perfect squat.

Starting Phase
  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and toed out slightly (you want to ensure that your toes are in line with the natural alignment of the knees and hips).
  2. We will begin with no weights; hands are right down by your sides.
  3. Keep the chest open and ribs over hips for proper alignment.

Execution Phase
  1.  Turn your core on by pulling the belly button in towards the spine, pulling the pelvic floor muscles up and contracting your glutes. 
  2. Start to lower your body (inhaling as you lower) as if you are going to sit down on a chair.  (If you physically need a reference, grab a chair or bench to ensure you keep proper alignment when lowering.  Bum should touch the seat.)    
  3. Keep the knees in line with the hips and ankles.  Ensure the knees do not pass the toes when you are lowering.  This will put more stress on your knee joints creating potential problems over time.
  4. Try to disperse your weight to the corners of your feet.  This will ensure you do not transfer your weight to your toes only.  (A very common mistake for those with tight calf muscles)
  5. Arms can raise in line with the shoulders for comfort and balance.  Do not raise higher than your shoulders if you are first beginning as this will start to put extra load on your spine; in particular, your lower back. 
  6. Push up through your feet (keeping the weight transfer on all corners of your feet) back to starting position.  (Exhale on the up phase).

Safety
  • Do not lock your knees out when you complete the up phase of the squat.  This can eventually lead to major injuries within the knee joint as it creates bone on bone and can wear down the meniscus.
  • Keep the down and up phase under control ensuring you keep proper alignment throughout each rep.  There is no benefit to speeding through any exercise.

Please e-mail me with any questions you may have regarding the squat.

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