The squat seems to be incorporated into so many work out routines and moves, but how do you know if you have proper form to reap the most benefits?
Here is a play by play to make sure that your form is correct overtime you do the squat.
1. Stand with your head facing forward, your chin parallel to the ground and your chest held up and out.
-With most exercises you want to make sure your chin is not tucked into your chest or lifted to high. This keeps your neck and spine neutral, so you feel the most benefits of the exercise. Your chest should feel like you are standing at attention if you were a solider!
2. Place your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. If you need help with balance, extend your hand straight out or clasp your fingers in front of your chest with your elbows bent. This can also help your keep your chest up to maintain good form.
3. Sit back and down as if sitting in an imaginary chair, focusing on keeping your weight in your heels. Your upper body will bend forward a bit, but our chin should still be parallel to the floor and your back strong and straight. Rather than letting your back round, arch your lower back just a bit to help keep your spine straight.
4. As you squat your knees should travel in a straight line in the direction your toes are pointed. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the ground as possible. Do not squat so low that your thighs are lower than parallel because you are past the point of muscle engagement and thus not reaping the full benefits. Also check that your knees are not out past your toes. When your knees are past your ankles and toes you put extra pressure of the delicate ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that hold the knees in place and run the risk of injuring your knees!
5. Stand up, pressing though your heels, finishing with your legs straight but relaxed to prevent snapping your knees and forcing your lower back to arch (OUCH!). This brings you back to your original starting position where you can start again!
Start with 2-3 sets of 10, doing each rep slowly and focusing on your form. Before you know it you will be a squat master!