Using Proper Form
When performing a squat, your feet should be about hip’s distance apart and directly in line with your shoulders. Your feet should also be facing forward, with your heels planted firmly on the ground. Pull your shoulders down and back, but not so far down or back that holding them in that position becomes uncomfortable. Hold your abdominal muscles in, and keep your head and eyes facing forward.
Performing The Squat
Keep these things in mind while performing your squat:
- Keep your lower back slightly arched, and lower your body as a single unit.
- Go as low as you can comfortably, without allowing your knees to extend beyond your toes.
- Do not allow your knees to collapse inward while going down, as this can result in alignment problems.
- Press your buttocks into the ground as you lower your body.
- On the way up, lift your body as a single unit, paying close attention to your spinal alignment.
Squats should also be performed at a slow, even pace rather than being done very quickly. Doing repetitions slowly will make it easier for you to maintain the proper form from start to finish.
Breathing is just as important when doing squats as it is when performing any other type of exercise. For best results, you should exhale on the exertion, which is on the way up while doing squats. Breathe in slowly on the way down, hold for a second or two, and then breathe out slowly while you return to the starting position. If you pay careful attention to your breathing, you should notice you are able to perform more repetitions without getting tired.
Squats can be an important part of any fitness routine, but should not be your only form of exercise. Here at Downtown Athletic Club, we offer personal and group fitness training sessions that will allow you to increase your level of physical fitness in a safe and fun atmosphere. Call or drop by today to find out more.