How to perform proper squats?
Performing squats with proper form is important to effectively target the muscles while minimizing the risk of injury. Here's a step-by-step guide to performing squats correctly:
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
Keep your head facing forward and maintain a straight, neutral spine.
Initiate the squat by bending at the hips and knees simultaneously.
Engage your core, keep your chest lifted, and lower your body as if sitting back into a chair.
Shift your weight onto your heels, keeping your knees in line with your toes.
Aim to lower your hips until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground. You can go lower if your mobility allows, but avoid excessive rounding of the lower back.
Focus on maintaining proper form and control throughout the movement.
Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back and down. Avoid rounding or hunching forward.
You can extend your arms forward for balance or place your hands on your hips or clasped in front of you.
Ensure your knees are tracking in line with your toes. Avoid allowing your knees to collapse inward.
Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement, avoiding excessive rounding or arching of the back.
Push through your heels and engage your glutes and thigh muscles to rise back up.
Keep your knees in line with your toes and maintain control as you return to the starting position.
Inhale as you lower your body and exhale as you rise back up.
Common mistakes to avoid:
Avoid leaning too far forward, as it can strain your lower back and shift the emphasis away from the leg muscles.
Do not let your knees cave inward. Keep them aligned with your toes to maintain proper knee tracking.
Avoid allowing your heels to lift off the ground. Focus on pushing through your heels to maintain stability.
Modifications and progressions:
If you're new to squats or have limited mobility, start with bodyweight squats and gradually progress to using weights or resistance.
You can also modify the squat depth by using a bench or chair as a guide until you build strength and flexibility.
Remember, it's important to listen to your body and work within your individual capabilities. If you have any concerns or underlying health conditions, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified fitness trainer for personalized guidance and modifications.
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