Quality Squat Technique
The Squat is one of the most important exercises you can do in the gym and has a plethora of benefits. It works your quads, glutes and hamstrings, along with being a great exercise to burn calories. When performed with heavy weights it also helps release testosterone as well.
All that being said, it is a complex compound lift and one that needs to be performed correctly to help avoid injury. We are going to take you through a few tips to help you get your form correct and maximize your lift.
1) Get your feet in the correct position – You want them at either shoulder width or slightly apart and you want your toes to be point just slightly outwards. Those with slightly less flexibility might need to move them slightly further out than those who are suppler.
2) Complete a full range of motion – Most people don’t get low enough into their squat to gain the full effect of the exercise. The hip joint should be breaking past the knee, before you push off your heels back to the start point.
3) As mentioned in the previous point, make sure your weight is going through your heels. A lot of people have a tendency to come up on to their toes. If you suffer from a problem with ankle flexibility, then one thing you can try is to raise your heels of the ground. One way you can do this is to put a plate underneath them.
4) Make sure the bar is across the top of your shoulders and not putting pressure on your neck, which can cause you injuries. Also, when holding the bar your elbows you be facing towards the ground.
5) One of the most important things to check whilst you squat, is that you keep your back straight and keep your chest facing up. This will stop you curving your forwards, which can also cause injuries.
6) It is important that you make sure your knees don’t turn in when you’re lifting. You can prevent this from happening by pushing them outwards as you lift.
7) Finally, make sure you stretch first and do a few light sets before throwing those plates on. You want you muscles to be fully firing before you go for it.
If you follow these tips, it will help you stay injury free and should help you get a bit more out of your lifts and progress onto bigger weights.