While some exercises might appear simple and easy, it is really important to do them properly in order not to hurt ourselves while maximizing their effect. For instance, squats. They are the best functional exercises which engage and target major muscle groups and strengthen the quads, adductors, hamstrings, the calves as well as the lower back and the core.
If you are a beginner, it is really important to learn how to do them properly, since squatting wrong may result in injuries to your knees and back.
In this article, courtesy of StyleCraze, you will learn how to master squats in a few simple steps. Also, you will learn other versions of squatting that will help you reduce your weight and shape your body.
The beginner’s guide to a perfect squat
For this simple exercise, you will only need comfortable clothes, training shoes and a hair band.
How to squat properly
Step 1: Initial pose
First, stand tall with the feet a little more than hip-width apart and in a straight line. The toes should point slightly out, relax the shoulders and lift your chest. Then, extend your arms in front of you and squeeze your glutes.
Step 2: Start squatting
Keep your back straight and engage your core then push your buttocks out and start bending your knees. Your weight should be on your heels and not on your toes.
Step 3: Full Squat
Sit down with your body weight on your heels, and go down until your hips joints are lower than your knees. If they are not below the level of the knees it is a partial squat.
Step 4: Hold
Keep your arms in front of you and make sure that your pelvic region is in alignment with the toes. Push back your hips, keep your core tight and your glutes squeezed. You should hold this pose for three seconds.
Step 5: Getting Back Up
After three seconds, exhale and get back up slowly. You should keep the weight on your heels and your chest up. While squeezing your glutes, push your hips forward.
Step 6: Repeat
Repeat all these stages again, inhale, go down to the squat position, hold for three seconds and come back up.
While squatting you should be slow and patient as well as open to unlearn the wrong technique that you have been following. It is not rocket science and it is easy to learn. Once you have mastered it, you can move on and learn these advanced levels of squats.
This version targets the hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, calves, adductors, and the core.
Do the steps like the regular squats but instead of coming back, pulse in the squatting pose. Simply go up and down at frequent intervals while counting to ten. Then, exhale and get back up to the starting position. You can do two sets of 5 reps.
The explosive squat targets the hip flexors, glutes, calves, adductors, core, biceps as well as the neck muscles.
Squat jump forward and back
This version of squat engages the hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, calves as well as the core.
The sumo squats engage not only the hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves but also, the core, and back.
Squat with bicep curls
This exercise is perfect if your targets are the hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, core as well as your back.
Squat with overhead press
Target: Quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, calves, adductors, chest, core, back, biceps, shoulders, and lats.
Barbell sumo squat
This advanced version is perfect for the shoulders, glutes, lats, lower back, abs, quads, chest, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, calves, adductors as well as the hip flexors.
Target: glutes, core, quads, hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders.