How To Do A Squat
The squat is one of the best strength building exercises for all the major muscles in your legs, including your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. It’s also one of the most misperformed (is that a word or is it along the lines of Roger Clemens’ “misremembered”?) exercises. Performing a squat incorrectly can lead to serious injury of your lower back and knees. Next time you squat, keep the following points in mind in order to reap the benefits of this time-tested move without suffering an injury:
-Be sure to point your chest slightly up and your pull your shoulders back and together. This will help prevent unnecessary strain on your lower back.
-Engage your abs. Imagine that someone is about to punch you in the stomach and you know it’s coming. Tighten your abs to build a strong wall that can better withstand the impact than relaxed abs. Engaging your abs will stabilize your core, further protecting the lower back.
-Your knees should not go forward beyond your toes. If you look at your profile in the mirror while performing a squat, your knees should be in line with or behind your toes. In other words, if you drew a vertical line from your toes perpendicular to the floor, your knees should just touch that line or be completely on the side of the line that your body is on.
–Laura DeLallo, Founder, Living Fit
(Laura is a certified personal trainer and weight management consultant. Want to train with her? Visit Personal Training at Living Fit. Want to learn more about her? Visit the About page.)