The squat is the best strength training exercise you can do. Like all other lifts in the power lifting category it will increase overall strength and allow you to lift more weight. When done incorrectly the squat can be dangerous but the same can be said for any exercise. Before you take on the squat you absolutely must know proper squat technique and have a workout parter who can tell if you form is correct. Don’t expect to see immediate results after including the squat into your routine but stay dedicated and rest assured you will gain massive amounts of strength.
Why Proper Form For The Squat Is Important
Feet- Your heels need to be shoulder width apart and your toes out at a 30 degree angle. At this angle you knees will be able to follow that path and end over your toes. By doing this you will ensure your knees are pushing outwards, this will prevent your knees from buckling inwards and avoid an injury.
Hips- Your hips are the most important part of the squat, they help push the weight, keep balance and act as a pivot point for the exercise. At the bottom of the rep you want yours hips down and back, this will tighten your gluts and hamstrings rather than putting strain on your knees.
Back- Keep your back straight and your chest up. By doing so this will prevent you from rounding your back and help keep the weight on your heels. When your chest is down you will tend to round your back and this can cause serious problems.
Head Position- Maintain a head position looking toward the ground about 6-10 feet ahead of you. When you look up your head shifts back and your body will shift back slightly as well. This will drastically effect your balance and when you look down you will lean forward. This brings the weight to far forward causing you to round your back and throw off your balance.
Gripping the bar- The bar should be placed on your back so that you can hold the bar with straight wrists. With better flexibility you will be able to have the bar lower on your back, this makes the squat a little more comfortable and will be easier on your wrists. Hold the bar at a 30 degree angle made between your forearms and humorous, this will cause you to squeeze your shoulder blades together making a better platform for the bar to rest. Don’t wrap your thumbs around the bar, wrapping your thumbs will cause a bend in your wrist and can damage or stretch the tendons and ligaments in the wrist. Your arms are only there to keep the bar on your back, not take any of the load, this can cause damage to your wrists and elbows if you keep pressure of the bar with your hands rather you back.
Proper Movements Though the Repetition
To unrack the bar safely get yourself set up properly as you would go to perform the rep. The rack should be low enough so when you stand up straight the bar has cleared the rack. Take 1 step back and set your feet in the proper position.
When you squat down your knees must break 90 degrees to get the full benefits of the squat and avoid injuries of doing partial squats. Partial squat put the strain of the weight on your knees rather then the muscles in your legs and can cause damage to your joints.
Keep your hips back to avoid rounding your back and keep the weight on your heels, this will make the repetition a more natural movement.
Drive your hips upward to lift the weight, this takes weight off your knees and back and will make the reps easier. Proper hip drive will allow you to lift more weight and with better form.
Benefits Of Proper Technique
From squatting with proper technique you will gain strength, the squat is a complex movement, because so many muscles are active your body has no choice but to gain overall strength.
By squatting deep in your reps your flexibility in your knees, hips, and ankles will greatly improve.
The way to bar is positioned on your back brings your shoulders back and chest up, this is a much more natural posture then most people walk with and eventually from performing the squat you will keep that shape.
The squat is such a demanding workout that you will burn calories and fat while gaining muscle mass. you will burn more calories then just a regular cardio work out all while gaining strength among other things.
Squatting with proper technique will help the joint strength in your knees, hips, and ankles improve. By squatting deep you will be stimulating the tendons, ligaments and joints in the lower body and gain more strength, mobility and flexibility.
Now knowing the importance of the squat and how it can help you improve you quality of life you’d be making a big mistake avoiding this exercise. Along with other powerlifting exercises such as the deadlift, bench press, and the overhead press, the squat can make a huge difference in helping you real your goals. This is why you should learn to squat with proper technique.