Whether you’re exercising at home or in a gym, squats are surely an integral part of your workout routine. It’s no wonder — they target the thighs and the glutes and help your legs look toned. However, to get the most out of them, you need to do them just right. Since that can be a challenge in and of itself, we’re here to teach you how to do squats properly and give your legs the workout they truly deserve!
Before You Start
Your posture at the beginning makes a lot of difference, so try to get it just right. First, find a comfortable foot stance — whether that means you’ll keep your feet parallel or point your toes slightly outward is up to you. Then, tense your abs and look straight ahead, standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart. Now you’re ready to start squatting!
Don’t Start From the Knees
It might seem natural to just bend the knees — after all, how else are you supposed to squat? However, if you start from the knees, you won’t be able to do a proper squat, and your knees won’t thank you either.
Instead, imagine there is a chair behind you and simply “sit back” on it. You’ll move your weight onto your heels and lower your butt down — only then should the knees follow. If you can’t do it properly right away, practice with an actual chair.
Push Your Knees Outward
The deeper you squat is, the more likely your knees are to pull inward. Instead of allowing them to do so because it’s comfortable, push them outward. Your knee caps should be parallel with your toes. Not only is this position better for your knees, but it also activates your glutes!
It’s incredibly important to keep the right form as you squat. Unfortunately, when you focus on your lower body, you might unconsciously begin to hunch. Remember to keep checking your posture.
You’ll notice that you’re hunching if you hold your hands in front of you and they fall toward your knees as you squat. Keep straightening your back while in that position.
If it’s too hard at the beginning, find a door frame, hold it, and squat while keeping your back as straight as it can be. Practice this at various heights, and eventually, you’ll learn how to squat without any assistance!
Don’t Lift Your Heels off the Floor
In order to do a squat properly, you need to have balance, not feel like you’re on a tightrope. Therefore, don’t stand only on the balls of your feet — press your heels firmly into the ground to activate all the right muscles. As you get up from the squat, you should push from your heels instead of putting the weight on your toes.
Now that you know how to do squats properly, incorporate them into your daily routine and practice until you reach perfection. A real squat is supposed to activate your entire body, so don’t hesitate to change up your stance or posture and see what works best. Believe us, all that work and practice are bound to pay off!