It’s one of the most common leg workouts you’ll see in and out of the gym. With all the hype that surrounds it- is it actually any good?
The short answer is: YES! It is a great whole-body workout that primarily trains the muscles of legs: the gluts, hamstrings, quads and calves.
The Squat is perfect for those who are looking to tone up or strengthen their legs. It is also ideal for those wanting to boost their performance in athletic pursuits such as running, cycling, swimming and martial arts.
It is a very versatile exercise because you don’t need a gym membership to complete it. You can start off doing squats in your own home, using your own body weight. And you may be surprised as to how hard it becomes! Add more weight to your body (eg handweights) or increase the repetitions for endurance and strength. For those looking for a real challenge, work your way up to some jumping or one-legged squats.
Technique behind the Squat
- Start off with your legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent
- If you are using hand weights, keep your arms firm but relaxed on either side of your body. If you aren’t using any weights, you can lift your arms up and out directly in front of your, perpendicular to the ground. This is your starting position.
- Hinge at your hips and lower your bottom to the ground as if you were about to sit on a chair. Keep your knees aligned directly over your ankles. Your bottom should move back and down without too much movement from your knees.
- Lower down until your bottom is roughly in line with your knees, and your thighs are perpendicular to the ground. Hold for a second
- Tense your quads, lift up and back to the starting position