There are several exercises that people opt for to keep themselves fit and healthy. Out of those exercises, a very important one is squatting. Today we will give a short introduction to squats and will also mention the correct way of carrying out squats along with their benefits.
What is a squat?
It is a type of exercise in which the person (who is carrying out the exercise) has to lower his hips while deviating from the standing position. And then stands up again. The right way to squat is that your hip and knee joint should undergo flexion while descending in a squat. Opposite to this, your hip and knee joint should undergo extension while ascending in a squat. Along with this, your ankle joint must plantar flex while going up in a squat.
What are the basics of a proper squat?
- Stand while keeping a distance between both your feet more than the width of your hip. And let your toes face in the front.
- Now move your hips back, bend on your knees and ankles. And move your knees slightly apart from each other.
- Now acquire the sitting position, but make sure not to rise up your feet from the ground. Keep your chest up and push your shoulders back.
- Make sure that you bend your knees at an angle of 90 degrees.
- Now throw your weight on your heels and push them to the ground. Keep your legs straight while returning back to the standing position.
The step by step guide to squat
Step 1: Stand properly
Keep your body straight and get in the standing position. Place your feet straight and maintain a distance between them. This distance must be wider than the width of your hips. Also, place your hands on your hips.
Step 2: Keep your stomach muscles tight
Stand straight and push your shoulders backward, along with keeping your chest up. During expiration, pull your navel into your back. It will help in the engagement of your deep abdominal muscles. Ultimately this practice results in providing stability to your pelvis and spine.
Step 3: Sit properly
While going into the sitting position, make sure that you try to keep your upper body as straighter as possible. Bend your knees and assume as if you are sitting on an invisible chair. Remember, the slight tilt of the torso is natural. But don't let your chest fall.
And also, keep your shoulders pushed behind. One thing that is a must to keep in mind is that a straight body is also not appropriate to carry out effective squats. It throws excessive strain on the knees of the practitioner.
Bend yourself as much as possible, preventing your body from leaning forward. If you are suffering from any kind of knee problem, make sure not to bend at an angle greater than 90 degrees. While bending, make sure that you keep your thighs parallel to the floor.
Make sure that you do not allow your knees to get too forward. And align them with your toes. Another thing that is a must to keep in mind is that you cannot permit your knees to bend inwards also. Rather push them out to keep them aligned with your feet.
It's often hard for people to get the appropriate depth in a squat because they have tight hips and ankles. For these individuals, squatting with a slightly raised heel puts their mechanics in a favorable position to work around their mobility limitations. Squat shoes allow people to get the depth required and not place their hips and ankles at risk.
Step 4: Stand up
Keep your legs straight while getting back into the standing position. But keep one thing in mind that straightening your legs the wrong way will surely lock your knees. Make sure that you do not move your heels or toes off the ground. And push them towards the ground while getting up. It will help in putting added emphasis on your glutes.
Step 5: Repetition
Repeat this exercise for 10 to 15 times in a set and make sure to complete a total of 3 sets. To keep yourself even more balanced during a squat, you may opt for stretching your arms in front of you. This practice will add more to your stability.
What are the benefits of squatting?
- Squats help in building the muscles.
- This practice leads to the faster burning of excess fat of the body.
- Squats are also beneficial for making our bodies even more flexible.
- This exercise is good for mobility and balance.
- Squats are good for the improvement of lung or heart health.
- This practice reduces the chances of injury.
- Squats are good for the maintenance of our joints.
- It plays a positive part in bone health.
- Squatting also enhances our speed and our ability to jump.
- It aids in bringing out postural improvements to our bodies.
Tips for better squats?
- Do not bend over and keep your hips back.
- Avoid spreading your knees too wide apart.
- Keep the spine neutral.
- Maintain that slight curve of your back.
- Start doing squats at any angle between 90 degrees and parallel.
- Act smarter than the gravity and try to pull your body towards the bottom yourself.
- Brace your core and create a tension in your abs.
- Keep your back in the natural position and take out your chest.
- Push to the outer side of your feet and strengthen your grip on the ground.
- Make sure your feet are properly placed on the ground and are straight enough.
- Both your feet must be aligned with each other.
- Take your lats into working and pull the bar into your back.
- Keep your head positioned straight. Avoiding looking too up or too down.
- Hold on to maximal body tension with every passing rep.
- Do not shift your body towards the horizontal orientation and keep it in a vertical position.
- Symmetrically load both your legs equally.
To wrap it up!
A squat is a useful step of exercise that gives a lot of benefits to our body. It adds on to the stability, flexibility, and maintenance of the body and much more. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is to carry out squats in the correct way, or otherwise, all your hard work will go in vain.