Squats are one of our favourite workouts because they’re so versatile. They work your hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, strengthening your core and toning your legs and butt. But just how do you do a proper one?
While they can look intimidating from the outside, the perfect squat is achievable! We’ll guide you through how to accomplish the perfect squat.
The Perfect Squat
The perfect squat is easier than you think. Simply follow these steps:
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart with your hips stacked over knees, your knees over your ankles.
- Extend your arms out so they are straight and parallel with the ground, palms facing down.
- Breathe in and start to lower your body back as far as you can by pushing your hips back, bending your knees, and pushing your body weight into your heels.
- As your butt starts to stick out, keep your head facing forward with a neutral spine. You might like to raise your arms out in front of you for balance.
- The deeper you squat, the better. Optimal squat depth would be your hips sinking below the knees, but don’t push yourself if you feel unsafe doing so.
- Engage your core and, with your body’s weight in the heels, slowly move back into the starting position.
Still a little stuck on how to execute the perfect squat? Here’s a great visual guide.
If you’re already in love with squats, why not try a squat challenge? Here are some of the squat challenges we’re digging at the moment:
Beginner Squat Challenge by Travel Strong
The Beginner Squat Challenge by Travel Strong is a basic workout that consists of a counterbalance box squat, counterbalance air squat, prisoner box squat and prisoner air squat, spread over 28 days.
Squat Circuit Challenge by Popsugar
Popsugar outlines some neat squat exercises in their Squat Circuit Challenge, including narrow squats, narrow squats with a booty kick, basic squat with a side leg lift, and sumo squats. This challenge varies the exercises each day to sculpt your legs and butt, keep things fun and reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries.
30 Day Ab and Squat Challenge by 30 Day Fitness Challenges
This Squat Challenge by 30 Day Fitness Challenges combines ab exercises such as sit ups and crunches with squats to boost your core, leg and butt muscles and body strength.
If you’d like to take your squatting a step further, try using weights when squatting. To avoid injuries, follow these guidelines:
- Have someone spot you – always!
- Consult with your PT about the best weight for you.
- Use a clean grip and keep your elbows high.
- Rest the bar on your deltoid muscles against your collarbone and neck.
- Avoid buckling your knees on the way back up. Instead, keep them straight at all times. Otherwise, you might twist them – ouch!
- Always point your feet in the same direction as your knees.
- Don’t try to do heavy speed squats unless you are a professional lifter.