Known as the father of all exercises the squat is considered to be an absolute key in functional training and is used in all variations by all types of athletes.
A basic Squat is simply squatting down and getting back up again – keeping the back relatively straight and the weight evenly balanced between both feet. The Squat is considered to be king because it trains so many muscles and is truly functional – just try going through your day without using this squatting motion. Squats train the larger muscles of the legs, challenge the core muscles and the back especially when weight is added. But squats are not as simple as they sound – here are the seven sins of the squat and how to avoid them.
- Not squatting
Squats are just a key movement for so many types of training – not doing a squat of some form or another is considered sinful. Squats can be modified to help strengthen different areas and performed with just body weight to get you started.
- Depth before load
Master technique before adding weights; get the balance, flexibility and strength you need to perform a correct squat in which the hips drop to the level or below the knees. Only add weights when you’ve beaten the basics.
- Keep your chest proud
Whether you are using a barbell on your shoulders, a plate in front of you or overhead keep your body tall, your chest proud and your stomach gently pulled in to maintain good posture
- Don’t over squat
Squats are good for you but they are challenging – make sure you give your body time to recover with gaps between training days. Your body will thank you!
- For really heavy weights use a cage or a spotter
working within a safety cage or with a spotter is crucial. If your legs give up the last thing you want is to be pinned under a heavy bar… Don’t believe it – Google “squat fails” and stay safe!
- Warm up and cool down properly
Use a foam roller on your quads, hamstrings and calves before and after you squat; along with dynamic stretches and bodyweight movements is key to performing a successful squat and preventing injury.
- Stop if feel pain
if you experience and sharp pains or ache after you squat talk to your GP or physio about it – better to be safe than sorry.