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July 13, 2018

Squatting 101

Fitness First USA

Squatting 101

Squats are a full-body fitness staple that work the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and sneakily strengthen the core. Squats may help improve balance and coordination, as well as bone density.

Types of squats include

The Bodyweight Squat

To perform a body weight squat, extend your arms straight out in front of you with your palms down and keep your feet flat on the floor a little wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend your legs to start the exercise and make sure to keep your back as straight as possible. You should also keep your head up and try to look straight ahead during the exercise. Keep your feet flat on the floor as you squat down. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, stand back up to finish the first repetition. Try to do at least 10 repetitions and then take a short break

Goblet Squat

To perform a goblet squat, hold a kettlebell, dumbbell, or medicine ball, at the center of your chest. With a slight bend in the knees, drop into a squat, going straight down and then standing straight up. When completing this exercise, drop the elbows between the legs inside the knees for a full range of motion.

Goblet squats are beneficial because they increase the load of your squat as well as keeping you from leaning forward.

Barbell Back Squat

During a back squat, the weight rests of the traps (can be low or high). Hands should be facing forward, along the same plane as the shoulders, with elbows pointing down to the ground. Keep your hips back and follow the same form for a bodyweight squat. Be sure to breath while you’re back squatting. Inhaled before you descend, hold your breath during the squat, and exhale once you’ve returned to standing.

Front Squat

The Front Squat requires getting comfortable with the front rack position hen front-squatting with a barbell, this means resting the barbell just above the clavicles, right on the neck and laying on the fingertips, with elbows up and pointed out and triceps parallel to the ground. You may seem unsteady holding the bar with just the fingertips, but the collarbone is a solid shelf for the bar, so the hands are only needed to prevent the bar from rolling. As long as the elbows stay up, extending straight out from the shoulders, the bar will be secure. For the descent in a front squat, the body will stay considerably more upright than it would in a bodyweight or back squat. Do not reach back with the butt (as you would with a back or bodyweight squat), as this will angle the body forward, making it difficult to stand the weight up. Try to think about keeping the elbows up and pointing forward throughout the movement. If the barbell is leaning you too far forward then you can try the front squat using dumbbells to get comfortable in this position.

Benefits

Squats target two of your body’s biggest muscles (quads and glutes), and enlist the help of your hamstrings and calves to get the job done. And that’s just what it does below the waist. When you do a squat properly, you also engage stabilizing muscles throughout your core. Plus, it can be done with little equipment (or even no equipment in the case of a bodyweight squat), and it only requires a few square feet of space to perform. To maximize its benefits, however, weave multiple squat variations into your weekly routine, like the ones mentioned above.