Squatting can be a great way to build strength and endurance, but it’s important to do it correctly.
Doing squats incorrectly can lead to injury, so taking the time to learn the proper form is essential. In this blog post, we will explore how to start squatting like a pro.
From learning proper form and mastering technique to understanding the variations, you should practice for maximum results, read on to learn everything you need to know about squatting your way to fitness success.
Step 1: Learn the proper form
When you first start squatting, it’s essential to learn proper form. This will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout. Here are some pointers:
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward.
- Keep your chest up and your back straight as you lower down. Bend at your hips and knees, lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Once you reach the bottom position, drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
If you can master proper form, you’ll be well on your way to squatting like a pro!
Step 2: Start with bodyweight squats
If you’re new to squats or have never done them, it’s best to start with bodyweight squats. These are a great way to get used to the movement and build strength and endurance.
To do a bodyweight squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Slowly lower yourself by bending your knees, keeping your chest up, and your weight in your heels.
- Once you reach the bottom of the squat, hold for a second and slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.
Start with three sets of 10 reps and work your way up. As you get stronger, you can add weight by holding a dumbbell or barbell in front of you (go easy on the weight at first!).
Step 3: Incorporate proper foot positioning
Keep your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart when you squat. It may be helpful to point your toes slightly outward.
Keep your knees in line with your toes as you lower yourself down. Try not to let them extend out over your toes. Doing so will put unnecessary strain on your knees.
Once you reach the bottom of the squat, pause for a moment before standing back up.
Step 4: Engage the core
Now that you’ve got the perfect squatting form, it’s time to focus on engaging your core. A strong core is essential for stabilization and balance, which are key when squatting correctly.
Here are a few tips to help you engage your core while squatting:
1. Brace your abs: Before beginning the squat movement, take a deep breath and brace your abs as if someone were about to punch you in the stomach. This will help keep your spine in a neutral position and prevent it from rounding during the squat.
2. Keep your torso upright: Once you start descending into the squat, keep your torso reasonably upright. This will help ensure that your weight stays balanced over your midfoot and that your knees track over your toes.
3. Fire up your glutes: As you reach the bottom of the squat, squeeze your glutes tightly to help drive yourself back up to the starting position. A muscular glute contraction will also help stabilize your hips and pelvis during the movement.
Step 5: Focus on a full range of motion
If you want to start squatting like a pro, focus on a full range of motion. The key to success in any exercise is a full range of motion. This allows your muscles to work through the entire range of motion, which leads to better results.
When squatting, ensure you lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. If you can’t go that low, then raise your heels so that you can maintain balance.
Once you’re in the bottom position, drive up through your heels and return to the starting position.
Remember, the key is to focus on a full range of motion. By doing so, you’ll be able to get the most out of your squats and see better results.
Step 6: Use the proper equipment
If you want to squat like a pro, you need to use the proper equipment. This includes a quality barbell, weight plates, a squat rack, and a bench. You will also need a spotter if you are lifting heavy weights.
Using the proper equipment is important for two reasons. First, it will help you lift heavier weights and get stronger. Second, it will help reduce your risk of injury.
If you are starting, you may not need all of this equipment. However, you will need to invest in some quality gear as you get stronger and lift heavier weights.
Step 7: Gradually increase weight and volume
As you become more comfortable with the basic squatting technique, you can gradually increase the weight and volume of your workouts.
Start by adding 5-10 pounds to your squats each week until you reach a point where you feel like you are struggling to complete the reps. At this point, you can either reduce the weight slightly or keep it the same and do fewer reps.
Remember to always focus on good form first and foremost. Once you have that down, you can start increasing the intensity of your workouts.
And always listen to your body – if something feels off or uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to back off or take a break altogether.
Squatting like a pro is a skill that can take time and dedication to master, but with the right tips and guidance, it’s achievable.
Whether you’re looking to build muscle or increase your strength, squats are essential to any workout routine.
With the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to learn proper form and technique so that you can start squatting like a pro in no time!