Hello strong, perky butt and legs.
This story first appeared on news.com.au, published here with permission.
To some, the word ‘squatting’ is more so associated with outstaying your welcome on your friend’s couch, or when you find yourself remotely stranded with no bathroom in sight, rather than something you do at the gym.
For those of you who find themselves being thrust into the love-it-or-hate-it squat, be it at boot camp, forced by your PT, or you’re following your fitness app of choice, it needs to be done right.
The perfect squat can be one of the best exercises not only for a strong, perky butt and legs, but also for your core, growth hormone stimulation and your fat burning ability. However, it’s easy to muck it up, progressively wear down your spine, knees and hips and miss out on all of the positive benefits. So many back and knee issues can be avoided with correcting your squat and allow you to reap all of the benefits.
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There are three key principles for the perfect squat:
1. Correct technique and motor patterning
3. The ability to activate the right muscles at the right time.
So lets discuss each…
Correct technique is essential and may not look exactly the same on everyone as we don’t all have the exact same bodies. However the key point are:
— Place heels shoulder width apart and toes pointed out slightly
— Keep your gaze at least a few metres ahead, not at your feet or at the ceiling
— Keep a neutral or straight spine throughout the whole movement
— Initiate the squat first by pushing your hips back before bending the knees
— Push the knees wide, keeping the majority of the weight through your heels
— Your pelvis should drop between your thighs with your knees slightly wider than your toes
— Your knees will most likely go slightly past your toes in a deep squat to maintain your centre of gravity over your feet and stop you falling backwards
— Push up, squeezing you glutes all the way especially at the top of the movement (imagine someone is pulling your belt buckle up towards your belly button slightly).