Give it a Go - The Squat

Squats will help to build up your lower body strength, provide a great core workout and challenge your Cardiovascular System. Squats don't require any equipment, you don't need much room and they can be performed anywhere and varied in so many ways. As a starter, you don’t need to use any weights either for resistance - you can use your own bodyweight or get someone to add resistance to your shoulders.

Please see my Matt Swaz Fitness video on how to perform the squat correctly.

Poor squat technique is common, and can result in knee, ankle, hip and/or lower back injuries. The following are a few tips on how to perform the squats safely and correctly

  • Keep your chest lifted and body upright as possible, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don't keep looking down). Ensure your core is fully engaged throughout the exercise and that you don’t arch your back.
  • Place your hands in a position that feels comfortable for you – on your thighs, behind your head, across your chest, out to the front etc.
  • With your feet approximately hip distance apart and toes pointing slightly outwards, bend the knees by leading with the hips and lowering towards the floor. Do not bend further than 90 degrees at the knees. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Pause slightly and then powerfully push back to the start position. Then repeat.
  • Using a smooth motion, breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
  • Avoid bouncing off the floor, letting your heels raise off the floor and your knees pushing out in front of your toes.

As a starter, aim to complete 8-10 repetitions and see if you can do this 2-3 times. If you can't don't worry. Build up to it. You are best doing 6 correct squats with safe and proper technique rather than 10 incorrect ones.  Please see my bank of  'Give it a Go - Squat Exercises'.

In future blogs, I will suggest ways that you can make the basic squat more challenging or if needed a little easier. For instance, you can add resistance, incorporate a jump etc.

Please remember to warm up thoroughly before exercising and to speak to your GP before starting any exercise programme. Should you require any help, advice or information please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to discuss with you the tried and tested methods and lifestyle changes that I have developed to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.

Keep up the great work,

Live life actively,

Matt

 

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