The squat is an exercise that works the lower body. It can be done by simply using your own body weight, without adding any additional resistance. Or by resorting to specific materials such as weights or bars.
This exercise mainly focuses on the thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings) and glutes, but it also works on the strength and stability of the core, the mobility of the ankles and the back muscles, among others.
Benefits of squats
Performing the squat exercise periodically can bring the following benefits:
- Squats are beneficial since they work the fundamental muscle groups to keep the back healthy: spines, glutes, quadriceps, and abdominal girdle.
- They help maintain mobility and balance by strengthening the muscles of the legs.
- When performing squats, a good amount of fat is oxidized since the cardiovascular system is stimulated, in addition, when working for such a large muscle group, the body requires greater energy expenditure.
- Helps to increase bone density, mainly helping to prevent osteoporosis.
- If an adequate weight is increased, it is an excellent exercise to increase muscle mass.
- Excellent exercise to tone muscles.
Despite the many benefits they provide us, squats can be potentially harmful to the knees and spine in case of:
- Bad execution, which is why, if you do not have the necessary knowledge, it must be done under the supervision of a professional.
- People with a recent injury in these areas.
- using too much weight to squat can lead to various injuries
How to do a proper squat?
To do this, we will place the feet more or less at the same distance from the shoulders, the arms must be flexed at 90 ° with the palms of the hands-down. It is important to maintain lumbar lordosis, which is why the squat should be performed by bringing the glutes outward and lowering, and at the time of going up, we will do so by contracting the gluteal muscles.
How to do squats correctly
When doing squats, it is important to take care of the position of our back at all times, it must be kept aligned to achieve a straight line descent. In the same way, other aspects such as:
- Do not bend the knees of the balls of our feet.
- keep the entire sole of the foot supported.
- Avoid descending too low when bending the knees (The bending should be 90 °)
- Keep your gaze horizontal.
- The feet should be hip-width apart and level parallel.
- When adding weight to this exercise, it is important to pay close attention to this, it should not be excessive since it can alter the execution of the exercises and lead to different joint injuries, contractures, meniscus problems, pain, or discomfort muscle, etc.
When squats well done
- strengthen the legs, buttocks, and many other muscles
- improve lower body mobility
- keep bones and joints in good condition
When squats poorly done
- they don’t activate muscles at the right intensity
- put extra stress on ligaments and joints
- increase the risk of injury
In this article we show you how to do squats correctly: you will never skip a leg workout again! We also teach you some tips to avoid the most common mistakes.
Conclusions on the correct performance of squats
The squat is one of the most famous exercises to tone, increase mobility and balance of the lower limbs, but its performance must be correct. To conclude, we leave you a brief summary about squats, so you can remember the most important things about this exercise:
- To perform a squat you must keep your head horizontal.
- The feet should be hip-width apart.
- The knee, during flexion, should not go beyond the balls of the feet.
- It should not flex too much.
If you have recently had a knee or hip injury, do not squat, and remember that if you want to gain weight for the lift, consult a professional first.