Squats are part of a group of several exercises that everyone should do. They’re functional fitness exercises that help prevent injuries from falls and strains by improving balance. When you can do a perfect squat, you’ll improve the potential of independent living. It’s a very basic move that most people can do as a baby but lose that ability as they grow older. It requires muscles from both the upper body and lower body that you use doing daily activities.
Boost your nitric oxide with squats.
When you move your muscles during exercise, you increase the nitric oxide in your system. Nitric oxide expands the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. The larger the muscle, the more nitric oxide you produce. Squats work large muscle groups. Squats work the glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and adductors in the lower body and the core muscles.
Focus on the starting position.
The correct starting position can determine whether your squat will be perfect or a dud. The perfect squat starts by holding your trunk straight, your head up, and your shoulders relaxed and back. Your lower back should have a slight curve. This is the neutral position where your spine is in line. It’s the position your upper body should maintain when you squat. Some people bend their heads backward or tilt them forward. That diminishes the benefits. You only bend at the hip.
Start with the basic squat.
There are all types of squats but the basic squat starts with toes slightly pointing outward with feet a little wider than shoulder width. Variations may use different foot widths and positioning. As you lower your body, bending at the hip, keep your abdomen tight with your stomach pulled in to maintain stability as you protect the spine. Lower your hips while keeping your weight on your heels. Keep your knees in line with your big toe and no further out. When your hips are parallel to the floor, push up with your heels back to the starting position.
- Don’t overarch your back. Keep the natural curve throughout the exercise. You may try compensating for a weak back by overarching or leaning too far forward. Keep the weight off the balls of the feet and on the heels.
- If your thighs are weaker, your knees will move inward when you squat. That can stress the joints and ligaments to cause injury. When squatting, lower your body as far as you can without feeling discomfort.
- Always focus on the basic form before you begin any variations. Once you perfect your form, you change foot position, add weights, or even squat on one leg. You can even do jump squats.
- Your core muscles act like a weight belt when you do squats. They hold everything in place, so keep them activated throughout the entire exercise.
For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center