At Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, we focus on all types of exercise. Every exercise provides more benefits and prevents injury when you do it right. That includes bodyweight exercises like squats. Doing a perfect squat can improve functional fitness. It also burns tons of calories. Since it works large muscles, it also boosts the creation of nitric oxide which helps lower blood pressure by causing blood vessels to get wider. The exercise may be basic, but it’s hard to do if you don’t have lower body strength.
The correct starting position is vital to your form.
If your starting position isn’t correct, you won’t do the squats properly. Hold your trunk straight, keeping your head up. Relax your shoulders and hold them back with your lower back having a slight curve. If you bend your head forward or backward, it minimizes the benefits. Your spine should be in a neutral position throughout the entire squat. Bend only at the hip, ensuring your back remains in position.
The placement of your feet also plays a role.
Your feet should be at hip-width with your toes slightly pointed outward for the basic squat. Once you master the basics, you can start doing variations that affect other muscle groups, like the plie squat. Keep your core tight as you lower your body. Pull in your stomach to increase stability and protect the spine. Keep your weight on your heels when lowering your hips, and your knees line up with your big toe. Hinge at the hips and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push back up using your heels until you’re back at the starting position.
People often make these common mistakes that can sacrifice benefits.
The most common mistake is bending your back forward or overarching it too far back. The object is to maintain the natural curve in the lower back if you’re doing the squat correctly. If the core muscles are weak, people often compensate by overarching or leaning too far forward, trying to increase the strength it takes to do the squat. That often leads to back strain. Keeping the weight on the heels is also a common mistake. If you put the weight on the balls of the feet, it also increases back stress.
- Weak thigh muscles can cause the knees to move inward. It causes stress on the ligaments and joints. While the proper form has the thighs parallel to the floor, if you can’t go that far down, go as far as you can without feeling discomfort and work toward parallel.
- Once you have the basic form mastered, you can add weights or try other forms of the squat, such as the one-legged squat.
- Don’t use weight belts or weights until you have the perfect form. It can cause injury by putting too much stress on your muscles and joints.
- A squat is a compound exercise that burns lots of calories. It builds muscles to do necessary movements required for everyday living, is vital for seniors, and is good for people of all ages.
For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training