How to do Squats | Beginner's Guide to Perfect Squats (Benefits, Variations, Mistakes)
The following article contains the answer for majority of the questions that can come across the mind of a person who is a beginner at working out like-
How to do squats properly?
What are the most common mistakes made while performing squats?
Are there better variations of the squats?
Reading this article will solve almost all your queries and you’ll be ‘good to go’, once you’ve gone through every point thoroughly.
Let us see what are the benefits of squats?
Squats are the most basic yet highly effective exercise to target your legs and glutes. It is a great compound exercise to add to your daily workout routine. The squats not only work on your legs and glutes but also work on your core. That is because, while performing squats the balance of the body is supported by the core. Squats also help in increasing ankle mobility. With so many benefits it would be a mistake to not add a basic bodyweight exercise like squats to your daily workout routine.
Common mistakes made while doing Squats-
There are very few common mistakes made while doing Squats made by either beginners or an intermediate level athlete while performing squats. Let’s list a couple of them before heading towards the main topic i.e. How to do squats?
1. Bad posture– Where it be someone who is a beginner at squats or who is trying to progress toward a heavier set, maintaining a perfect squat posture can be a bit tricky.
1. Not to lean ahead of your knees. Always have your feet completely touching the ground.
2. Actively use your core for balance.
3. Do not bend your back the wrong way.
These tips should be enough to prevent you from having a bad squat posture to a perfect squat posture.
2. Lack of warm-up – Squat is a compound movement i.e. it involves various muscle groups. Squatting also involves 3 joints (hip joint, knee joint, and ankle joint). Not warming up your body before squats can result to an injury. So just give a few minutes into warm-up before starting your workout.
3. Not squatting deep enough- To engage the muscles to their maximum capacity, completing a full range motion is important. Do not rush a repetition just for the sake of completing.
Now with the most common mistake out of the way, Lets discuss about the main topic.
How to do squats?
Squats are the most basic bodyweight exercise that gives a good aesthetic to your lower body. Along with enhancing your aesthetic, it will also provide your body with a lot of functional benefits and increased mobility.
Steps to perform the basic squat are given below.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- You can either keep your hands free or hold them in front of you at chest level. Whatever you feel comfortable with.
- Keep your knees and feet facing a bit outwards.
- Now, bend your knees and move your hips down, as if you’re going to sit. Go down until your things are parallel to the floor.
- Then come back to the starting position.
Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions. Then gradually progress towards a more difficult variation or increase the number of sets or reps. Just remember to have a neutral spine and neck position along with the above-given steps.
Once you have mastered the form of the basic squat exercise and can perform 25-30 reps without breaking a sweat, you need to try a different variation of squats. The basic squat exercise can get boring after a few days. So try and hype it up with harder variations of squat exercise some of which are mentioned below.
Variations of the squats
The sumo Squat :
The sumo squat is highly efficient in targeting your inner thigh muscles i.e. the adductors along with the glutes and hamstring.
How to do the sumo squat?
- Take a stance, inches wider than shoulder-width.
- Turn your feet 450 outwards.
- Go down until your thighs parallel to the ground. Keep your hands in front of you parallel to the ground for balance.
- Push through the ground and come back to the starting position.
Click Here : To know more about Sumo Squats in Details
The Narrow Squat:
The narrow variation of the squat is highly helpful in gang volume in the quad region. It also works on your glutes and adductors.
How to do Narrow Squats?
- Place your feet less than shoulder-width apart. Keep them facing forward.
- Bend your knees and go down as low as possible without hampering your form.
- Push through the ground and come back into the starting position.
The narrow squat is not an easy variation of the squat. Hence, to maintain your balance, keep your core strong and hands out-front parallel to the floor.
The Cossack Squat:
The Cossack squat is a high-intensity variation of the basic squat exercise. It activates your quads, hamstring, glutes as well as your core and lower back. It is also very beneficial for the joints of the lower body. This exercise also brings the smaller muscles of the legs into action.
How to do the Cossack squats?
- Take a wide stance with your toes facing outwards.
- Now shift your body weight to one side, and squat using the leg on that side while completely stretching out the other.
- Push through the floor and get back to the starting position
- Repeat with the other leg.
Click Here : To know more about Cossack Squats in Details
By the time you master these squat variants (which may take some time… Stay Calm), your body will have gained a good aesthetic, one that others will be envious of. You’ll also highly improve your body’s functionality.
Overall squatting is a good exercise and will help you to try other leg exercises while maintaining a good posture. Squatting will also give strength to your glutes eventually helping you run or walk with better form.
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