Squats, in my humble opinion, are the king of all exercises (or the queen, because girl power). A proper squat utilizes so many different body mechanics and strengthens the entire lower body and core. They are one of the top calorie-burning movements per rep, and they make that booty pop.
But notice what I said in that second sentence- a “proper squat.” You can do whatever exercise you fancy, but unless you do it with proper form and technique, it’s not going to give you all of the benefits. In fact, doing a squat wrong can lead to knee or hip pain. No way, not today. We want you exercising to your fullest potential and spending your days injury-free!
First, I’m going to outline the right way to do a squat, then I’ll break down a few mistakes that we see. As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I’ve seen it all, and I know that with a few tweaks, we can get your squat form on point and really target those legs and glutes!
How To Do a Squat
- Feet slightly wider than hip width and firmly planted
- Heels stay on the ground
- Knees track over ankles
- Hips sink back and come to parallel (or below for more advanced)
- Chest stays upright
- Eyes look forward
- Core is engaged
- Knees cave in or go forward past toes
- Heels pop up off the ground
- Chest folds forward
- Lower back arches
If you notice that you’re making a few of these squat errors, it’s okay! Now you know, and now you can fix them. With so many exercise programs involving this standard movement, you’re bound to do them. So let’s get them right and do them well, so you can squat til you drop all day err day.