Squats, we love them we hate them, they love us they hate us…. the vicious circle goes on. But bottom line, squats are amazing for your health and creating a nice backside. I mean come on, adding squats into your daily routine is proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite, gets all the blood flowing in your legs (hello desk job), while sculpting your butt and thighs at the same time. And how could I leave out they are massive calorie burners …. legs are your powerhouse with muscle density incorporating leg movement into your routine increases not only your muscular definition but also boosts your metabolism how awesome is that? If you ask me they are an essential piece to your workout and should not be left out!
However, the types of squats you do, frequency, and if you are actually doing them right can make or break a lot of things…
So a squat seems pretty basic right? But the question then becomes not if you can/can’t do a squat it’s are you doing them correctly? Yeaahhh there is a huge difference. Squats are awesome for your body but doing them wrong could really mess up your knees and alignment. I have seen time and time again at the gym people doing squats wrong. That is soooo bad for you. You might be wondering, am I doing them right? I don’t know! Here’s a few tips to ensure your posture is where it needs to be.
- Check your knees…. when in a squat can you see your toes if you look down? If your knees are passing your toes you are not doing it correctly. Stop now… injury ahead! Realign yourself so you are sitting back far enough that you can see your toes when you look down.
Right (no squatting in flip flops is not a best practice!)
- Butt back – When you squat stick your butt out (no one’s judging 😉 ) You’ll ensure your form is correct and the knee over the toe issue will never become an issue.
- How low can you go? Just go low enough that you are still in control. Going too low can be a problem too… your knees should not start buckling in. Stop and try it again this time not so low.
There are a myriad of squats and combing them ensure you are hitting all parts of your legs and glutes. Here are some of my favorites:
- Basic squat
- Sumo Squat
- One leg squat (again watch your knees here)
Aim for 10 of each squat variation above and repeat 3 times. Try and incorporate 2-3 times a week. Want to kick up your heart rate a bit? Try adding a jump to the regular and sumo squat variations.
I have said this time and again, do NOT fear lifting weights. Fear what happens as you age if you don’t exercise or strength train (hello brittle bones). That said, add some weight to your squats to fire your body up even more. I recommend starting with 10lb weights in each hand and progressing from there. Just to give you an idea (and proof) your legs will not get bulky I currently vary between sets anywhere from 15lb-30lb.
So get out there and squat it like it’s hot!