Squatting is such an important movement pattern for your body since you squat every time you sit down and stand up! It’s important that your body is working and moving properly in order to improve activities of daily living and your overall quality of life, especially if you sit at a desk all day or find you have difficulty getting up from a seated position. Squats are going to improve the functional movement of your lower body joints, increase your muscle strength, and even increase your bone mineral density since squats are a weight-bearing exercise. The squat is a multi-joint movement meaning that it’s going to involve every major muscle group in your legs including your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. It really is the perfect lower body exercise since it targets all muscles in one move!
TIP: To have your body understand the proper form for a squat, use a chair or bench that comes to about the height of your knee. Facing away from the chair with your feet shoulder width distance apart, take a seat in the chair keeping your chest up and back flat. Have the chair positioned slightly behind you so that your hips have to reach back and out for you to sit down. Always make sure you can see your toes over your knees, your weight shifted back to your heels and hips and that you’re not moving straight down and placing stress on your knee joints. From your seated position, drive your heels into the ground and stand up, keeping your chest up and out. You just completed a squat! Now progress to having your hips just lightly touch the chair, and progress again to no chair at all!
There are a ton of variations to keep your squat sesh interesting too! Follow the below workout for a great squat session. Take a 45 second rest between each set and 2 minute rest between each exercise. We’re going for strength and power with this workout. Your weight should be heavy enough that your reps are challenging but still doable with correct form. If they’re too easy, go up to the next weight!
- 3 sets x 8 reps: Goblet Squat with Kettlebell
- 3 sets x 8 reps: Back Squat with Barbell
- 2 sets x 8 reps on each leg: Bulgarian Split Squat with Dumbbells
- 2 sets x 8 reps on each leg: TRX Pistol Squat
- 3 sets x 8 reps: Prisoner Squat Pulses
- 3 sets x 10 reps: Squat Jump