Listen. You have been squatting since birth. Seriously, true story. Why are we so afraid to squat as adults? Knees, hips, ankles… I can’t. In same cases, you are doing yourself more harm than good doing an incorrect squat because you are scared. I would say within my day I see about 85% of people using bad form on their squat. It drives me crazy. I know what you are thinking, “as a trainer, do you correct them?” My answer is “in some cases.” Most members do not want your input (know it all), because they feel they’ve been doing it a long time and know their body.
When people say, I can’t squat. I simply ask these questions.
- Do you sit on the toilet?
- Do you need help getting out of your recliner?
- Do you have a desk job?
- How many times a day do you sit and stand?
You squat all the time, daily.
This is not a new movement that you are being asked to do.
Does everyone squat the same? No!
Does everyone have different mobility levels? Yes!
Can everyone squat? Yes!
Squats are one of the most foundational functional movements of our lives. A simple squat works almost every muscle group in your body. You are in use of the hips, back, core, shoulders, and arms. You are working.
I’m not saying load a bar and start heavy back-squatting. I’m saying let’s take the basic body weight squat, perfect it, and then start loading.
I love when people walk in the gym super “cold” load a barbell with plates on each side and begin squatting. I am like ‘WWWWOOOOAAAHHHHH, stop that.” The no warm up is by far hurting you more than some basic squatting.
Some things to think about when you squat:
- Think about your weight on your feet. Balance your weight in both legs. Your weight should be on the heels and balls of your feet. Staying in your heels throughout your squat.
- Keep your entire body tight.
- Breathe in as you lower yourself down, break at your hip, and push your booty back.
- Keep your back straight, neutral spine, and your chest and shoulders up.
- Focus on your knees being in line with your feet.
- Pretend there is a newspaper under feet and as you drive yourself up, rip the newspaper apart. This way your knees will not cave to the inside as you begin coming out of the squat.
- Keep it all tight, exhale on your way up, and drive through your heels.
How far do I go down?
Well in my world, it is below parallel.
I am going to make a quick video of squatting and attach it to my FB page this week. I definitely think people do better with a visual.
If you are unsure about your squat position, please ask someone at your gym to fix you. It will only help you.
- Coming up on your toes
- Caving your knees inward on the way up
- Dropping your shoulders and your head – (Look straight)
A little cheat I like to do with my clients while squatting…
I will measure their squat by having them sit on a stack of weights or a bench that puts them below parallel are at a 90-degree angle. I will have them completely sit down, fix their form and then have them stand straight up. It’s a beautiful sight and a more beautiful sound when they say, “OMG I feel that in my quads and glutes.” Hallelujah, we did it. It takes work, but we can get you stronger if done correctly.
Have a Strong day sitting and standing, AKA squatting.
Look for the video this week.
STRONG BODY – Mitzi