The squat is an essential part of leg day and is the most important exercise for strengthening your glutes, building muscle and all-round lower body conditioning.
It’s an exercise that can quickly become an integral part of your daily exercise routine and here are some of our top tips to get the best out of the exercise.
First off, here’s our step-by-step guide to standard body-weighted squats
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend your knees and lower your backside as if you’re about to sit down.
- Slowly lower your body to a 90 degree angle when your thighs are parallel to the floor. At this point, keep your head still and look ahead in front of you.
- Your body weight should be distributed across the base of each foot so don’t stand on your heels or toes.
- Maintain this position for a couple of seconds before moving back up to the starting position without bending your back.
Other useful tips
- If you’re new to squats, sit down slowly to the 90 degree position with a chair beneath you, before slowly elevating.
- When you squat, your knees should be in line with your toes so you don’t push them forward naturally.
- Don’t add weights to your squat routine until you’ve built up the necessary strength in your quads and hamstrings.
- Squat pulses, a different form of the exercise, are also good to use. For these, you hold the squat position at the lowest point for up to 10 seconds, before pushing upwards.
- And, if you really want to challenge yourself, try sumo squats – which involve you spreading your feet further apart and pushing up and down quickly.