The Squat in 450 Words or Less

The Squat in 450 Words or Less

In my next series of articles, I’m going to discuss some basic exercises that everyone should be doing. I’ll tell you how to do them and why they’re important. I’ll to start with the exercise that many people believe is the most important one there is: The Squat.

What does it do? – There may not be another exercise that works more muscle than the squat. It works your core, glutes, hamstrings, back, hips, calves, ankles, quadriceps, and, depending on the type of squat, your trapezius, shoulders and arms, as well. In other words, the squat pretty much works about every muscle in your body.

How do I do it? – Now that you’re all excited, let me explain what to do. There are many variations of the squat including the back squat, front squat, and box squat. They all work in slightly different ways, but today we’ll discuss the bodyweight squat. Before you move to other variations it’s very important that you get the basic form.

The first thing you do is stand up. Easy, huh? (You’ll find that the most effective exercises are usually done standing, for the simple reason that you use more muscles standing than sitting.) Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, your toes pointed slightly outward and most of your weight on your heels. Take a deep breath of air into your chest and, keeping your chest up, tighten your core. Find a spot just above eye level and without taking your eyes off of it, move your hips back as if you are sitting down. From here, continue to drop your butt back and down and descend between your heels until the top of your thighs are parallel to the ground. Come back up by pushing through your heels. Make sure you keep a tight core and chest.
That’s it. You’ll find that this movement tests things that you might not have thought about. You also might find that you can’t go too far down at first. That’s fine. Go down as far as you can while maintaining the upper body position I described. If you keep working on it you’ll improve sooner than you think.

Another trick is to use a bench or a chair as a marker for depth. Just go down until you touch it lightly and then come back up. Many people find that they can go right down to parallel as long as they have a marker to tell them where that is.

We’ll talk about another exercise in two weeks. If you have any questions at all about the squat drop me a line and remember to talk to a doctor before you begin any exercise program.


from the Castro Valley forum July 22, 2009

Mitchell Rothbardt
MitchRothbardtTraining@yahoo.com
510-754-7113
Discover Your Strength