How to Do Squats

It's important to make sure you do squats properly so you don't injure yourself and so you get the most from the exercise. Squats are easy to cheat on, so you'll need to remind yourself that you're doing these squats for your own benefit. A good leg squat will strengthen and tone your gluts, quads, and hamstrings; it's a very effective exercise.

Follow these basic rules when doing leg squats:

  • Keep your back as straight as possible to avoid back injuries.
  • Push your buttocks out in back so that you do not stress your knees too much. You want to lean back into the squat, not forward into the squat.
  • Get low with every squat. You're only cheating yourself if you stay high in the squat. Look to get at 90 degree angle with every squat if possible.  Go lower if you can without losing form. Think of every squat as sitting down in a chair.
  • Squeeze your buttocks as you stand up from each squat. Finish the squat with an extra tight squeeze every time.

Variations on Leg Squats
Check out these different squat exercises:

  • The Chair: Stand with your back up against a wall. Slide down the wall until you are in a sitting position, as if there is a chair supporting you. Hold this position as long as you can. When you can "sit" no longer, stand up, shake out your legs and give yourself a 30-second break. Repeat exercise.
  • The Side Squat: With your feet close together, sit down into a low squat. Stand back up again, squeezing your buttocks as you stand. Now step your right foot to the right about two to three feet, opening the distance between your feet, and sink into a wide squat. Stand again, squeezing your buttocks. Bring your feet back together and sink into another squat. Stand again, then step your left foot out about two to three feet and sink into another wide squat. Repeat this process until you hit muscle failure. Shake out your legs and rest for one minute, then repeat again.
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