My 3 Favourite Exerercises: Squats

I have saved perhaps the most important exercise of all for the end, the primal movement pattern: Squat.  This is another exercise that can be done anywhere and is an exercise that is performed every time you get in and out of a chair amongst the many other times you perform this movement during your day to day life.  Following are some important principles to consider when performing squats.

Body Weight Squats

·         Start by standing tall, shoulders back, feet shoulder width apart, and eyes looking forward

·         Push your bum back and bring your hands forward as you pretend to sit down into a La Z  Boy chair (hands go out to counter balance your bum going back)

·         When lowering yourself during the squat be sure to think your knees and hips are moving at the same time (not knees before hips or hips before knees) FLUID MOVEMENT!!

·         Keep your knees in line with your toes and don’t allow your knees to travel over your toes

·         The angle you create at your ankle should be the same angle you create at your hips

·         At the bottom of your squat the weight of your body should be equal throughout your feet

·         At the bottom of your squat imagine that you are pushing your knees out against something and use your bum and hamstrings to unfold your hips as you stand up

·         It is your goal to squat as deep as you can without breaking the above principles

You can do squats several different ways, with a bar over your shoulders, with dumbbells in your hands, or with a small child in your arms.  Each different squat represents a different challenge and slight variations in body position but if you follow the above principles you will find success in your ability to squat in nearly all situations.  If you are having trouble with the body weight squat try this regression: Chair Squats – Follow the above principles and lower yourself so that you actually sit down in a chair.  Be sure to use your bum and hamstrings to bring yourself back to a standing position.  To make your squat more difficult try the following progression: Quick Drop Squat with Full Extension to your Toes – Follow the same principles as above, however you are going to drop to the bottom of your squat as fast as you can and from there you will power all the way up to your tippy toes.

See if you can find 7 different ways to perform a squat, and do each different one every day of the week.

Move to Live, Live to Move,

Josh Neumann, BHK, PTS, TSCC-1

Monday and Thursday #FitTips at