Squats: The Ultimate Exercise

Looking for an effective, no-cost workout that you can do almost anywhere and fits easily into your busy schedule?

Look no further than the squat.

Squats are a great way to build strong quads, hamstrings and glutes. Your body activates about 200 upper and lower body muscles, according to the National Association of Sports Medicine.

But it’s not just about building muscles, according to fitness experts. The ability to perform a squat is important to everyone who wants to do everyday things with relative ease—get out of a chair, lift a box, pick a pencil up from the floor, or use a toilet. Being able to squat allows us to perform these kinds of activities with safety and confidence can be the difference between injury and living a healthy, pain-free life.

The great thing about squats is that this particular fitness move…

  1. can be performed anywhere—an office, living room, bedroom, or backyard, and
  2. requires no special equipment, although you can always add some hand weights to for an additional workout challenge.

doing a squat

Let’s Squat

To do a squat…

  • Stand with your feet slightly great than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead
  • Slowly bend, through the hips, knees and ankles
  • Stop when your knees reach a 90-degree angle
  • Return to a starting position

That’s one squat. Repeat 15 to 20 times.

Experts at the Mayo Clinic offer this advice (as well as this video): Keep your back in a neutral position. Don’t flatten the curve of your lower back, or arch your back in the other direction. Make sure that your knees stay centered over your feet on the way down. Don’t let your knees roll inward or outward. If you can’t bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, simply go as low as you can.

Remember, for best results, keep your back in a neutral position and your abdominal muscles tight during the exercise. Keep your knees centered over your feet on the way down. Also, remember to keep your movements smooth and controlled.

If you are new to squats or feel unsure about your balance, steady yourself by holding onto a counter or desk.

proper way of doing a squat

Wall Squats

Wall squats are another option, especially if you are concerned with posture and injury prevention, according to the folks at Verywell Health. Their version of the wall squat focuses on developing strength in the center of the quadriceps muscle:

Step 1

  • Stand up straight against a wall
  • Take big step forward
  • Try to line your knees up with the area between the big toe and the second toe
  • One way to handle mild or potential knee pain is to position your feet out to either side
  • This allows for a wider base of support, which may save your back, and especially your knees, from undue compression

Step 2

  • Inhale, then exhale
  • Pull your lower abdominal muscles in
  • As you exhale, bend your knees and slide partway down the wall
  • Ideally, you will flex your knees at a 90-degree angle, but let your pain guide you as to how far down you go
  • Throughout the movement, keep your gaze straight in front of you, your knees slightly bent, and your chin slightly tucked
  • Try to keep the back of your head touching the wall

Step 3

  • Move slowly back to the start position
  • The workout for your seat muscles should intensify on the way back up, especially if you don’t rush the movement

Step 4

  • Repeat to your comfort level up to 10 times
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383 Comments
  • barb hicks
    Posted at 18:40h, 26 May

    thanks

  • Christine M Thompson
    Posted at 11:46h, 24 May

    Thanks.

  • Melchora Shores
    Posted at 11:56h, 23 May

    Very good exercises, thank you

  • Marie Kanu
    Posted at 07:32h, 23 May

    Appreciate

  • Clarice Roberts Muse
    Posted at 22:39h, 21 May

    Thank you

  • Gerika Shaw
    Posted at 18:19h, 21 May

    Thank you

  • Epigenia
    Posted at 18:05h, 21 May

    Thanks

  • June Rhyne
    Posted at 11:18h, 21 May

    Thank you

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