Everyone's Favorite Exercise - The Squat

Boot camp, yoga, strength training, Barre, boxing and kickboxing.  No matter what your favorite workout routine, there is an exercise that is unavoidable while at the gym: the squat.  The squat is one of the most functional movements and we are forced to do it multiple times a day, even outside the gym!

Imagine what you have to do to get up and down from a chair… thats right, you have to squat.  Considering how many times we use this movement, it would be wise for us to make sure we are performing it well.  By using proper form, we will be able to enjoy the exercise more and prevent the aches and pains that come with using improper form. 

There are multiple aspects that go into performing a proper squat, but there are a few common mistakes that are made that can be easily corrected.

Squatting 101

1.Position your feet hip-width apart and make sure your weight is through your heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes during the entire range of motion). Toes should be pointed outward slightly.

2.Your first movement should be a hinge at the hips.  The hips should travel down and back like you are sitting in a chair.

3.As you lower down, your chest should stay up as if your are sliding your back down an imaginary all.

4.In the lower half of your body, you should focus on keeping your hips, knees and ankles in a straight line and not allowing you knees to track forward over your toes.

1.Full range of motion for a squat is when your hips and knees pass the 90 degree mark.

2.To return to your starting position, focus on actively contracting your glutes to take pressure off the low back.