4 Ways to Improve Your Squat
By Genevieve Cunningham
The squat. The big daddy of all leg exercises. We love it, and we love to hate it. But no matter how you feel about the squat, there is no denying that it’s really good for sculpting the bottom half of the body. If done correctly, it can help build massive strength and really tighten and tone these large muscle groups. But you know what? In order to gain the big benefits that many claim, you have to make sure to do it right. If you’re not seeing the results you’d like from your squat, take a look at these four ways to improve it instantly.
Shift Your Weight
Many people don’t gain benefit from the squat because they are holding their weight all wrong. When you do a proper squat, you’ll want to shift your weight into your heels. Many people start out with their weight in the toes, and they don’t even realize it. When you’re in the midst of the squat, stop and notice where the weight is being held. If it’s in the front half of the body, consciously shift it into your heels. This forces the work back into the hamstrings and glutes, and takes some of the pressure off of the knees.
Adjust Your Posture
Posture is everything. When you squat, your shoulders should be back and your stomach held in. You’ll hear people say not to allow the knees to go past the toes, but they’re probably going to inch that direction. Instead of focusing on never allowing the knees to go forward, focus on keeping them as far back as possible and really shifting that weight. You’ll also want to make sure your toes are pointed forward and keep your back straight. Once you’ve aligned your body properly, do another squat. Harder? Now you’re doing it right!
If you want more burn, squat deeper. It’s simple. Just make sure that your posture is in check and your weight is in your heels. Squat as deep as you can and then hold. It should burn after a while. But if you want to see results, feeling and holding the burn is more likely to get you there a little faster.
So far, we’ve really only been talking about bodyweight squats. But perhaps the fastest way to see results is to add some weights. Buy a bar and some weights, place the bar on your shoulders, and get to squatting. If you’re not used to using weights, this is going to make you incredibly sore. But stick with it! Squatting with weights will give you the strength and definition that you really want.
Squats continue to be one of the best exercises for your bottom half. Keep doing them! Just make sure to check for these little adjustments in order to feel the burn like never before. With some minor adjustments and some dedication, you may finally start to see massive results that make you stick with squats for good.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lafayette, La.