Squats are an effective low impact isometric exercise that tones the body and builds lean muscle tissue. Squats, when done correctly, can help improve stability and functional fitness and are used in almost all types of sports trainings. If you use a personal trainer home gym, squats will be one of your most popular exercises with a variety of variations to target different muscle groups and angles. Here are 3 pro tips for maximizing your squat:
Make sure your knees remain parallel over your ankles. You should never bend forward or have your knees go past your ankle. Leading with your hip muscles and glutes instead your quads and keeping your hips straight is the most efficient technique for doing a squat. If you bend your knees forward past your ankles, this puts undo stress on the knees, and you increase your risk of sports injury in addition to not getting any physical benefit from the squat exercise. A personal trainer evaluation can help by watching your form to ensure you are performing the exercise correctly.
Go deeper into your squat with the help of some fitness tools! Placing a posture ball at your lower back and leaning up against the wall can help you roll into your squat position with extra support to go a deeper into the squatted position. A fitness bar or resistance ropes can also be used to support yourself into a lower squatted position to target glute muscles at a deeper angle. Be sure to maintain a straight back on your way up and keep your hips stacked for proper form.
Add resistance for maximum strength training. Squats are great because they use your body weight as natural resistance, and you can do them anywhere without needing extra equipment. For those who want to go bigger and build stronger, add resistance such as dumbbells or a barbell when doing squats. Be mindful of form when adding weight resistance to the exercise. You should be challenged, but not so challenged that form is compromised. Have a spotter support you when using heavy weights to stay safe while working out. Anatomy training software can be used to help plan workouts as well. For added leg resistance, exercise bands and ankle weights can be used to add resistance and challenge to your squats.