Whether you're recovering from an injury, or just trying to look good at the beach, you've got to do squats! There is no better exercise for the lower body. To learn more about the knee, go to this article on knee pain.
Proper squat technique is the key to getting results. With these tips, you'll never want to skip LEG DAY!
1. Starting position - Keep the feet shoulder width apart with weight balanced side to side.
2. Squat Position - Lower to a squat with weight balanced between the feet. Keep the heels down and the head up. Keep the knees behind the toes.
3. Return to Stand - Accelerate back up by pushing through the heels and extending the knees and hips. Keep looking forward.
1. Starting Position - Stand straight with the bar resting on the upper traps, just below the neck. Keep the curve in the low back. (We did not use a squat rack for these tips to help visualize the technique)
2. Squat Position - Lower slowly and keep the weight balanced from side to side. Keep the knees behind the toes. Keep the butt back and hinge or bend from the hip joints. Maintain the curve in the lower spine.
3. Return to Stand - Accelerate back up to the Standing position. Extend the hips and knees and maintain the curve in the back. Look forward.
The trunk and leg positions with back squats are the same as with Air squats. The big difference is the load that is transferred through the spine to the legs. Here are some tips to help with back squats.
Squats are not bad for your knees if you do them properly. It is important to keep the knees behind the toes as you go down. This forces you to use the Gluteal muscles and the quads together. It also keeps the knee in a position that does not overload the kneecap.
1. Avoid letting the knees fall inward. This can happen when the Gluteus Medius and hip external rotators are weak.
2. Avoid leaning too far forward from the hip.
3. Avoid lifting the heels off the floor.
4. Avoid bringing Your Knees Past Tour Toes.
The quick answer is typically no. Weight belts help to hold your abdomen in and give you support. The problem is that your abdominal or core muscles should do that for you without a belt. Back squats are a great exercise for combining muscle groups from top to bottom. That includes the core.
Bodies are lazy! If you give the core external support from a weight belt all the time, the core will get weaker. Doing squats without a weight belt helps your core muscles learn how to provide stability and support for the spine.
In most cases, if your back and core are not able to handle the weight, it's too much weight to lift.
If you are trying a new max weight it may be a good idea to use a weight belt as a safety measure. Weight belts are typically not part of a regular workout though.
Squats are a safe and effective exercise for most people if they are done properly. Follow the tips above for the best results and safety.
You should avoid squats if you have:
If done properly, squats are a safe, efficient, and effective way to build strength in the lower body.
Related Article: best shoulder workouts to reduce injury
If you have pain with squats or any other leg exercise, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. To schedule an appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Doctor, call (904)JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below. To see a JOI Rehab Physical Therapist at one of our 12 locations, call (904)858-7045.