If you’ve ever tried to tone and tighten your lower half or to do more in your workout, you were probably told to do squats. Building strength and staying fit is a great way to improve your health and reduce your aches and pains. Squats can be a strong move that strengthens your legs and buttocks while increasing endurance. However, there is a right and wrong way to perform the move, and if done incorrectly it could cause more harm than good.
When doing squats, or any toning exercise, it’s important to stay focused on your form the entire time. To start, stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width with your toes pointing away from center at a 45 degree angle. Keep your weight on the heels of your feet, and you know you’re doing this correctly if you are able to wiggle your toes easily. This stance will keep your knees safe from injury during the squat, so make sure to keep this position throughout the movement.
During the exercise itself, keep the muscles in your buttocks flexed throughout the move. Lower slowly into the squat keeping your shins straight and your knees above your ankles. Never squat down with your knees extending past your toes, instead lean back bringing your buttocks out behind you.
Be especially careful doing squats to prevent lower back strain. You will find that you really don’t need much weight at all. Try doing them in your living room for a few reps and you will feel the burn rather quickly. At the gym you can use light dumbbells in your hands or a smith machine to keep you in stable form.
As with any exercise , the proper form for squats is best learned through repetition. Once you’ve got the right form down, keep at it consistently and you’ll be seeing results in no time.
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