If you think you know it all but don't use this exercise, you don't know squats!
By Ariana Bel, ACE personal trainer
Do you know squats? If you equate the word squats with nothing, you couldn't be more wrong. Why? There may not be a more significant move you'll do in the gym than the squat.
Squats are an incredibly functional movement used in a myriad of situations and strengthening. They can help you prevent injury and become more efficient. Because it affects so many different areas of your body, it's important that you maintain proper form throughout the exercise. You'll find many different variations of the squat. That includes the sumo squat, goblet squat, bodyweight squat and the one we'll be highlighting this issue: The barbell squat. When squatting, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind.
Tip 1 – Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders straight and face forward. The bar should be on your back, across your shoulders. Don’t put it too high up on your neck, as you’ll risk injury.
Tip 2 – Keeping your head up and looking forward, bend at your knees, pushing your butt back. Make sure your knees don’t go too far over your toes, but don’t try to force your knees back because it'll put strain on your hips.
Tip 3 – Squat down until your knees and hips are parallel to the floor. Pause when you reach the bottom of the squat, then push upwards through your feet, engaging your quads and glutes.
Tip 4 – Make sure you keep your core engaged throughout the movement to prevent pelvic tilting while you are moving. This will help you prevent lower back pain.
Tip 5 – Breathe. A lot of people tend to hold their breath when squatting with heavy weights. Make sure you breathe so that you don’t put yourself at risk of passing out.