by Taylor Nelson, Exercise Science Intern
Why squat anyway? What is the big deal and why is it so important?
Think about how many times you sit to stand during the day??? That sit to stand function is crucial for many to be able to perform repeatedly throughout the day in order to execute their day to day demands. Now, when we take it a step further and control the sit ti stand movement and perform the squat exercise correctly, we equip our bodies to perform this functional task and build on strength in various areas.
The squat is one of the most effective and functional compound exercise that increases the strength of both the anterior and posterior chain of the lower body. Additionally, the squat promotes core mobility and stability while increasing exercise and athletic performance. The squat is may be completed using just the body weight or the individual or with additional weights. Although fitness enthusiasts and specialists encourage squatting, it must be done correctly or subsequent injuries may occur.
When beginning the squat exercise, an individual should ensure that they focus on form first. Proper form begins with a proper stance. When learning to squat, it is often helpful to place a chair or other sturdy surface behind the individual. The feet should be placed flat on a firm surface at a width that is slightly beyond a shoulder width apart. After ensuring that the preparation stage is complete and stance is correct, the individual should keep the knees soft and prepare for downward motion. During the execution phase of the movement, the individual should slowly sit back as if they are sitting into a chair. The back should remain straight and upright as the body bends at the hips. The knees should stay soft and avoid lockouts, thus preventing injury. At the end of the downward motion the knees should not go beyond the feet. The head, neck, and spine should remain in a straight line while the pressure is placed into the heels of the feet. After the downward phase, the individual should transition into the upward phase. During the upward phase, the individual should retain their form and at this point should squeeze the glutes and length the hamstrings to return to the starting position. Once the individual returns to the starting position, they shall transition into the recovery phase and prepare for the movement once again.
Completing the squat requires a great deal of concentration on form and technique. As an individual begins to build lower body strength and further core mobility and stability, the individual may adopt several different forms of the squat including the narrow stance and sumo squat. Additionally, the use of barbells may be introduced to encourage further strength gains.
If you have questions on your squat technique or exercise routine make sure to see one of your personal trainers at Ladies Super Fitness (LSF)! We are here to make your health and wellness journey safe, enjoyable, and effective. At LSF personal training is included in your membership and is FREE. Also, if you’ve never been here before click the button below to receive your complimentary workout!