In strength training and fitness, the squat is a full body exercise that strengthens the muscles of your thighs, hips, buttocks, quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings. It is also good for strengthening your bones and ligaments.
Before you perform a squat, you should be cautious about your body conditions. If you have any back or knee condition, it is important to take the help of a fitness instructor to prevent worsening your condition further.
If you are a beginner and want to do the squat correctly, follow these steps.
Steps To Do A Perfect Body Weight Squat
- Stand with your feet apart, not too close and not too far. You can place your feet slightly wider than your hip distance.
- For a body weight squat, extend your arms out in front of your chest. This can help you balance your body.
- Keep your head up erect and eyes ahead.
- Bend your knees as if you were going to sit on a chair. Make sure your knees are behind your toes, not over your toes or knock-kneed (hitting each other).
- Press back up through your heels.
- Come back up to your initial position and exhale. This is one repetition. (one complete squat motion).
After you’ve got the basic squat right, there are many variations you can add to it and help you burn more calories. Here are three easy variations of the basic squat.
3 Easy Variations Of The Basic Squat
1. Jump Squat
- For a jump squat, you need to ace your basic body weight squat.
- Make sure your chest is always higher than your hips.
- Then you perform your regular squat, and after you bend your knees as instructed, you jump up.
- When it comes to jumping, you need to decelerate or slow down to avoid shock in your joints. Instead, you should be able to absorb the shock through your muscles.
- The landing after your jump should be slow and controlled.
- Make sure you get your weight back on your heel before you jump again.
2. Dumbbell Squat With Shoulder Press
- Take a moderate weight pair of dumbbells, holding one in each hand.
- Raise the dumbbells so you can hold them comfortably by your shoulders. You can hold them near your ears.
- Get to your squat position, and as you rise up to your start position, raise your hands with the dumbbells up over your head in a smooth, controlled motion.
- Lower the dumbbells back to start, and then lower your body for the next squat.
3. Sumo Squat With Dumbbell
- Place your legs wider than a typical squat position, slightly wider than your hip distance. Your toes should be turned slightly out to about 45 degrees.
- Place a moderate weight dumbbell in front of you.
- Keeping your eyes and chest up, lower your body all the way down to squat.
- When you rise, pick the dumbbell up; when you squat again, make sure the weight is kept still.
- You can place the dumbbell still on the ground.
- You can make variations holding your dumbbell in different positions.
Depending on your fitness level, you can vary the weights from moderate weight dumbbells to heavier ones and kettlebells. Before any fitness exercise, make sure you talk to your fitness instructor about any existing conditions.