Squats are probably the exercise we all do the most, even if you think you don't! Every time you sit down and stand up you're doing some kind of squat.
Not convinced? Here's some reasons you SHOULD squat:
1. Increase strength and power.
Squats build strength and power in your glutes, hamstrings and quads, which are all stabilizer muscles.
2. Improve mobility in hips and ankles.
Body-weight squats are a great way to increase range of motion in hips and ankles, which will help reduce lower back and knee pain (see a trend here?). It's a safe and effective way to improve mobility without taxing the joints.
4. Strengthen the core.
Performing weighted squats challenges the core to stabilize the body throughout the entire range of motion. The transverse and rectus abominus are deeply engaged the entire time. (If you engage it properly...learn how to do that here: https://www.hawkstonept.com/exercise-of-the-month/core-stability) A strong, solid core will also help prevent the risk of a back injury.
5. Improve posture.
Whether you're performing a weighted squat or using your own body weight, you'll be engaging the upper back (lower/upper trapezius and rhomboids) to help stabilize the body through the movement. This strengthens the muscles responsible for proper posture.
There are many variations on how to preform a squat but here's the basics:
•Begin standing tall with good posture. Bend at the hips, pushing your bum back behind you as your knees also begin to bend only to a pain free depth.
•Keep your chest up and back straight, but allow your torso to come slightly forward to counter balance your hips behind you.
•Do not allow your knees to pass further forward than your toes, if this is happening you need to push your hips further back behind.
•Smoothly thrust your hips upwards and forwards to stand tall.
If you're not sure if your squat form is on point check with one of our Exercise Therapists!