How to learn to perform squats correctly
Squats are one of the most essential exercises in strength training. The exercise is highly effective and trains many muscles that we need in everyday life and sports. But unfortunately, the failure rate of squats is very high. Therefore, quite a few suffer from back pain and knee pain. Therefore, here are the most essential tips for the correct execution of the movement.
Toddlers perfectly master squats
Even before we learn to walk, we can squat. And anyone who observes toddlers doing this can see that they hold the position almost perfectly. Unfortunately, we have lost this ability over the years. Many athletes who perform squats make movement errors. They have a hunched back, and the hips are not sufficiently tilted. But with the right approach, anyone can learn the proper technique.
The basics of movement execution
- To perform squats correctly, the primary posture in the upright position is enormously important. So this is how you do it:
- Stand hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly so that the front thigh muscles are under tension.
- Then stick your chest out a little, as if you wanted to do a hero’s chest.
- Then bring the shoulders down behind you as if you were going to slide the shoulder blades into the back pockets of your pants.
- Finally, tilt the pelvis forward to get a slightly hollow back position.
The best pre-exercise
The most important requirement to perform a squat correctly is to tilt the hips to have a slightly hollow back. This position also prevents the knees from moving forward over the toes. You should distribute your weight on both soles of your feet simultaneously. The emphasis is on the heels. Here is a video that goes with it. Tip: You can also do this exercise with a stool that you sit on.
Exercise for stable knees
Another common mistake with squats is knees that tilt inward. This is usually due to weak abductors and adductors. However, these muscle groups can be trained well with the following two exercises.
Exercise to train the abductors
- You place a resistance band just above the knees.
- Then you squat correctly and take short lateral steps.
Exercise to train the adductors
- You lie on your back, bend your legs and wedge a soft ball between your knees.
- Then squeeze this ball again and again.
- At the gym, you can work out on the appropriate equipment.
How to train a straight back posture
If you want to perform a squat correctly, the movement must occur in the hips, knees, and ankles, not in the torso. It is vital to have a straight spine, with the shoulders slightly pulled back and a somewhat hollow back throughout the movement. You can do the “good morning exercise” to internalize this position.
- You stand upright and place your hands either at your sides on your hips or interlocked behind your head.
- You take the shoulders back, have a slightly hollow back, and bend forward while simultaneously pushing the buttocks back.
Perform squats correctly
Now let’s move on to the master variation, the squat with additional weight. In this case, a barbell bar that you place on your shoulder. The weight depends on your current fitness level and your goals. The right weight for you depends on your repetition maximum. The master squat is performed as follows:
- You place the barbell below your neck so that it rests on the soft parts of your shoulder.
- Your feet are slightly turned outwards, shoulder-width apart, and your torso is well tensed.
- Then squat in a controlled manner, bringing your upper body forward with a straight back and a slightly hollow back.
- You lower yourself to a 90-degree angle or a little lower and then push yourself back up in a controlled manner with correct posture without going into full extension.