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Don't Overlook the Many Benefits of a Squat

By Sandy Schroeder

If you tend to skip squats in your fitness routine, it may be time to take another look at what they can do for you. Think about where you are now, and what needs correcting. Most of us sit too much and move too little, occasionally doing exercise bursts to make up for everything, Regular routines with squats may be a smarter way to go.

Squats Are Basic to Everything

Being able to do a squat easily can be a predictor of a long life. The moves to do a squat let us go from standing to sitting and vice versa. Strengthening the muscles used helps protect the back and power all sorts of daily tasks.

Squats can help us energize our lifestyles too. The more we sit at the computer, behind the wheel, and on the couch, the more power we lose in our glutes. That's where regular squats come in to strengthen the glutes and mobilize the whole lower portion of the body and the core. When you add squats to your daily exercises you may feel the difference as you knock out household tasks, play tag with your kids or hit the courts.

Make the Squat Work for You

To get the most mileage out of your squat, tailor the exercise to your body. The squat works a whole array of muscles including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors. The muscles around the knees get involved too, and the core muscles show up to keep everything stable.

Here are some tips to help you do your squats safely and effectively.

Start with the beginning squat position - Begin by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Involve the core and keep it stable throughout the move. Position feet about shoulder width apart, slightly turned out at a comfortable level.

Anchor yourself with your feet - Screw them into the ground to create stability for the pose and alignment of all of the involved muscles.

Go for a proud position with chest up - Avoid rounding the upper back or shoulders which can overload the spine.

If you decide to add weights, you can also work your upper body which requires a fixed  muscle contraction.

However you decide to work squats into your fitness routine, be sure to check in with your doctor when you start new exercise programs.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shorewood, Ill.

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