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Fitness Fundamentals: The Squat

Coach Joel introduces the squat – one of the most functional movements we teach and refine in out fitness coaching programs to increase range of motion, strength, and overall health.

One of the most important and oft-included movements in out fitness coaching program is the squat. We begin by moving the most important weight someone can – their own body weight – and eventually progress to doing this movement under some type of load like dumbbells or barbells.

Why Squat?

You move through the positions of the squat each time you get off of a chair, couch, toilet, or the floor. Standing up from these positions independently and confidently is important throughout the entire span of each of our lives. No one enjoys needing help to stand and we have had members come and train with us for just that reason – they want to be able to sit and stand unassisted and without knee pain.

How Should I Squat?

A proper squat teaches you to plant your feet firmly on the floor, but to feel the majority of the drive for this movement in the heels. When the weight is focused more on the back of the feet, it means that the pressure is off of your knees for the majority of this movement and placed more on the muscles of the back of the leg, which are larger and much more equipped to handle the pressure of your bodyweight.

Follow these cues to squat well:

  1. Plant your feet just outside the hips with your toes slightly pointed out.

    Give your body a solid base, but don’t go too wide and it limits the mobility of your hips.

  2. The first movement of the body is for the hips to travel back and down, keeping the weight of the body focused over the heels

    A common fault is to initiate the squat with the knees coming forward. Move your hips first instead.

  3. Travel as low as you can while keeping your knees and hips in position over the back of the body.

    There should never be air under your shoes, so if your weight travels forward onto your toes, it’s time to shift back or stand and try again. Giving yourself a target like a chair or box can help to you remember to focus back and save your knees the strain! Slowly build your range of motion until you can squat until your hip crease is just below the knees.

  4. Stand tall by driving your weight through the heels.

    Avoid the temptation to press on the knees while standing, but do use a sturdy object to the side or front for balance if needed while you’re learning.

What If I Need More Help?

We offer custom coaching and instructions for all of our members so that they can workout safely and successfully at home. If you are overcoming injury or periods without exercise and you need more customized attention, though, virtual persona training may be a great option for having a coach live “with you” as you workout. It allows for a watchful eye and in-the-moment movement correction to keep you safe. It also gets you better results in less time when your coach can see you work and help you make the most of each session.

To learn more about those programs, email us at info@shoresfitness.com or book a free intro call here. We always offer free intro meetings in order to hear about your background, lifestyle, and goals and make the best recommendations we can if our programs seem like a good fit for you.

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