Squatting is one of the most popular exercises, boasting both cardiovascular and strength benefits. This exercise targets the muscles in the legs, lower back and core, which also has injury prevention benefits.
Technique is crucial, and when performed incorrectly, it can lead to injury. Follow these steps to ensure you don't injure yourself:-
# start with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out slightly. Your arms should be held straight out in-front to help act as a counter-balance.
# as you bend the knees, push your hips backwards as you are going to sit back in a chair. Keep your back straight through this movement.
# as your thighs become parallel to the floor, stop, and push through your feet to the start position.
# start with 12-15 repetitions, repeating 2-3 times.
Unknowingly, we are squatting all day long through movements of sitting and getting up, picking up objects off the floor, and even gardening. However, if your technique isn't optimal, you risk lower back, hip, or knee injury. Start off with just body weight squatting until you feel like the movement is second nature, then you can start to add weight and build it in to exercise programmes. There are many squat variations, so approach these as you would with a new exercise, and reap the benefits.