No exercise routine is complete without squat movements incorporated into it. Although many people think squat routines focus on the legs only, they actually give the body a complete workout.
As well as exercising all your muscle groups, including hips, quads and glutes, squats are functional exercises, which means they’re meaningful to your daily life. Humans have been using squatting movements since the beginnings of time, and even activities such as getting up off a chair involve a squatting technique.
When you perform squat movements, you strengthen your muscles and improve your core, balance, coordination and stability. Squats are also notable for toning your abdominal and backside muscles, which are often key areas that people want to address.
Although squats should be a prerequisite of every fitness regime, it’s surprising how many people perform them incorrectly. It’s vital that you understand how to carry out squats properly, so you don’t injure your knees or back, especially if you start including weights into your routine.
Correct posture is a good starting point. Stand with your feet over shoulder width apart. Maintain a neutral position in your back and keep your knees centred over your feet. Bend your knees, hips and ankles slowly. Lower until you achieve a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position and repeat up to 20 times. Don’t forget to inhale as you lower down, and exhale as you return to your starting stance. Once you’ve mastered this basic squat, you can add weights to push your body further.
If you’re new to including weights into your squat movements, the goblet squat is a good one to begin with. The beauty of this pose is that by holding a weight against your chest, you get into a stable position, which prevents you from leaning forward. Ideal weights for this squat include a dumbbell or kettlebell. Simply hold the weight against your chest as you squat down, bending at the knees, and returning to a standing position. With less low spinal compression compared to other squats, this movement is often preferred by those recovering from back injuries.
To add weight to your squat and work muscles harder, use a barbell in your routine. This back-squat pose requires the right technique, so seek expert assistance before you get going. Crucially, keep your hands facing forward, with elbows downwards. Hips should be kept back. As you squat down, don’t forget to inhale. Equally, remember to exhale on your return upwards. As well as building muscle and boosting core strength, back squats build strength in the glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Ideal for toning your quads, legs, hips and glutes, the front squat is similar to the back squat, except the barbell is placed in front of your shoulders, instead of your upper back. This gives you a more upright posture, but it also helps to make your quads work that extra bit harder.
Squats can help you achieve a muscular physique, but for an extra helping hand, consider the wide assortment of high-quality steroid options from Steroids & Muscle.