The ‘body weight squat’ is a simple but powerful exercise. It can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment. Here is what you need to know about squatting: [/ut_one_third] [ut_two_thirds_last] [/ut_two_thirds_last]
1. Why do squats?
The movement of the squat builds your leg muscles. Your leg muscles are very important – after all, it’s your legs that carry your entire body! The upper leg muscles, along with your glutes, are the largest muscles in the body, so building those muscles will increase your body’s ability to burn calories. If you sit a lot – for example, if you do a lot of driving or spend a lot of time sitting at a desk – your leg muscles aren’t being used during that time and if they aren’t used for extended periods, issues such as lower back pain and poor posture can result.
2. Types of squats.
The squat can work various muscles depending on the stance you choose. The ‘narrow’ squat works the glutes (butt); the ‘basic’ or ‘wide’ squat strengthens the bicep femoris (rear thigh area), and the ‘sumo’ squat works the adductors (inner thigh area).
3. How to squat properly.
Basic Bodyweight Squat
To perform the ‘basic’ squat, start with your feet just a little more than shoulder-width apart and turn your feet out slightly. Then, tilt your hips back, extend your hands in front of you for balance and drop down with your butt backward as if you’re going to sit down on a chair.
Pay attention to your knees as you move downward – if your knees are extending over your toes, too much pressure is being put on your knees and this can result in pain or injury. If you find this happening, use a stability ball propped against a wall, or even a chair behind you to help you figure out the proper movement.
If you’re doing the squat properly, you will be engaging your hamstrings and quads; you will not feel any pressure or pain in your knees.
Once you have mastered the ‘basic’ squat, you can move on to the ‘narrow’ stance and the ‘sumo’ stance to work the different leg muscle groups.
Watch the videos to see a demonstration of the proper form for the different squats.
Narrow Squat [/ut_one_half][ut_one_half_last]
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