How to do a squat
What is a Squat?
The squat is a staple exercise for all fitness levels because it’s easily modified and helps tone your whole lower body. Designed to build strength and improve general fitness, squats require you to use multiple muscle groups and compound movements to activate and strengthen your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Focus on form. Keep your core tight, spine tall and back completely straight.
- Feet first. Push through your feet as if you are trying to rip the floor apart to help stabilize your knees
- Heel it. Keep the weight in your heels and avoid leaning forward.
Equipment: No equipment required
- Stand tall with feet slightly wider than hip-width distance apart, feet slightly turned out.
- Roll your shoulders back and down, away from the ears. This will help you to maintain a straight spine.
- Look straight ahead and take a deep breath in, tightening your ab muscles. Then bend your knees and sink your hips back and down towards the floor until they sink just below the knees. Try to keep a straight spine and tight core throughout the whole movement.
- Stay in this position briefly, before straightening your legs and exploding back up to a standing position, then exhaling.
- Repeat for as many repetitions required.
Equipment: Kettlebell, Dumbbell or Weighted Plate. We suggest doing this exercise with a lighter weight to begin with, and then increase the weight once you are comfortable performing the movement with ease.
- First, grab a weight you are comfortable with. Hold the weight with both hands towards your chest with elbows tucked in towards your stomach.
- Same as with a bodyweight squat, stand tall with feet slightly wider than hip-width distance apart, feet slightly turned out.
- Straighten your back and brace your abs. Sink your hips back and down towards the floor. As you do this movement, allow your elbows to drop between your legs, and inside your knees. Make sure that your knees don’t go over your toes while doing this movement by keeping the weight in your heels.
- When your hips sink just below the knees, stay in this position for a brief pause, and then drive your hips back up towards the ceiling to return to a standing position.
Equipment: No equipment required. You can make the exercise more challenging by holding a pair of dumbbells, a barbell or weighted plates.
- Stand with feet hip-width distance apart, feet slightly turned out.
- Perform a normal bodyweight squat maintaining a tall spine and braced core.
- As soon as your hips sink just below the knees, push your heels into the floor by jumping as high as you can, and land softly on your feet.
Equipment: No equipment required
- Make sure there is plenty of space in front of you.
- Stand with feet hip-distance apart, feet slightly pointed out.
- Swing your arms back behind you to help you gain momentum as you perform the squat movement.
- As soon as your hips lower between a quarter to a half squat, swing both of your arms forward as you jump as far in front of you as you can.
- Try landing lightly with both feet at shoulder-distance apart. If you put your weight towards the front of your feet as you land this can help you maintain balance.
BARBELL FRONT SQUAT
Equipment: Barbell, Weight Plates
- Set up the squat rack or Olympic lifting platform so the barbell is rested at the right level for you based on your height. If you need to add more weight, add plates to each side of the barbell at which you are comfortable with. If you’re new to this exercise, we suggest getting comfortable with performing a squat first before adding extra weight.
- Once prepared with your setup, bring your arms up to the bar with an underhand grip, while keeping the elbows high and pointing forwards. The bar should be able to rest on either sides of your shoulders in this position.
- Looking straight ahead of you, take a few steps away from the rack while keeping your arms locked in that same position.
- Position your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance apart, with toes slightly pointed out. Breathe in and lock your abs.
- Lower your body into a squat position, keeping your head up and chest proud at all times.
- Straighten your knees and extend your hips back up to the starting position. Maintain a tall spine and tight core throughout the whole movement.
- Exhale out and repeat however many repetitions are required, then take a few steps forward to rest the bar on the rack.