Squats are a gym bunny’s fave – well, at least we love to hate them. When done correctly they achieve peachy buns, toned pins and they burn. To make sure they’re hurting in the right way, it’s important to have the perfect squat position. When done incorrectly, squats can be incredibly dangerous for your lower back, hips and even your neck! Here’s how to get yourself into a good squat – make sure you perfect your technique before you start using weights.
Stand with your feet at hip-width apart
Or even a little bit wider than your hips. Point your toes slightly outward, enough to support your ankles.
Keep looking straight forward
It’s important not to look up or down to the floor while you squat. To protect your neck, make sure you look straight ahead. You might find it useful to have a spot on the wall in front of you.
What to do with your arms
Either put your arms out in front of you, folded withy our arms on your shoulders or with your elbows bent and your hands upper together by your chest. Whatever will help you balance and feel the burn in your glutes. Whatever you do, make sure you can keep your spine in a neutral position. Don’t over extend or slump your back.
Tense your abs
This is super important to protect your back. Before you start to bend into a squat, keep your abs taut!
Move your butt
Before you bend your knees, move your butt backwards as if you were about to sit down. As you move your bum back and down, your knees will soon follow. Keep your shoulders back and your body tight.
How low should you go?
This depends on your strength and flexibility. Aim to get your hips below knee level, but you may want to work up to this point. Go down as far as you can but don’t compromise your squat technique!
Returning to the starting position
Once your at this low point, engage your glutes and upper leg muscles to push yourself back into the starting position. You should lead this with your waist, so you’ll have to keep your abs tight and your glutes tense.
Once you’ve nailed this process, you can use it when lift weights, too. Just make sure you protect your lower back and keep the relevant muscles in tune!