Are Your Squats Safe?
If you’re looking for a boost from behind — and who isn’t? — the key is squats. But before you start working your lower body, you NEED to make sure your form is on-par. Squatting with good form can make the difference between fast, safe, great-looking buns, and frustration — sometimes even injury. Don’t just fall into doing the movement in any old way, simply because you’re familiar with doing squats. Sweat the details!
What is good form?
In simple terms, good form means proper alignment of your body in relation to the resistance. For each squat, there’s a precise way to position your body that will best align the system of muscles and joints with the resistance, enabling you to work most efficiently. Strike that pose and you’ll get faster results in areas (butt), without risk of injury.
The muscles behind proper form:
Your glutes are the three muscles that make up your butt and hips. The largest is the gluteus maximus, more commonly known as your butt. It’s the muscle you use when you lift your leg behind you or rotate your thigh outward.
The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are located on the sides of your hips. It’s these glute muscles that lift your leg out to the side; you don’t actually have outer thigh muscles that do the job.
Here’s how to do a perfect squat:
- Grab a chair and position yourself right in front of it.
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart, toes facing forward.
- Sit back in the chair and stand back up, keeping your weight in your heels while maintaining a neutral spine.
Notice what happens when you sit down: your weight shifts back without having to press your knees forward and your thighs are parallel to the floor. It’s the bottom part of the movement that targets the glutes!
- Try sitting in the chair again, but this time, just skim your butt on the chair instead of sitting down. When you come back up, squeeze your glutes together nice and tight!
- Do 16 repetitions, using the chair until you feel comfortable. If you can do all the repetitions easily, use weights to increase the resistance.
- Don’t bounce! Remember, do a full range of motion, nice and controlled.
- Breathe in as you lower your body, and breath out as you push back up. Never hold your breath!
BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT
If you’re looking to strengthen your glutes, abs, and arms, and drop a few pounds as we glide into warmer weather, then the 14-Days To Summer Daily Challenge is for you. I’ve PACKED this challenge with workouts, weight loss guides and special recipes!
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Although the text instructions say “don’t bounce”, the video shown of Kathy Smith demonstrating squats shows her and the other exercisers with her bouncing three times as they squat and hold the position briefly; each time there is a 3x bounce movement while in the squat, then back up. That bouncing while in the squat seems to me to be a bad move for the knees, not to mention that it contradicts her text directions.