Squats are some of the most effective lower body exercises that can benefit you in the long run. The best workout programs include squats because of the world of good it can do for your posterior chain. It mainly targets the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and glutes. One should remember also keep in mind that there are different types of squats that work for different types of people. To assume that the same type of squat will work for five random persons in the gym is detrimental because there are variables to consider such as different body types and how they move. Whether you’re in a gym or you’re a beginner wondering how to do squats at home, it is relevant to be aware of your movement to find the best squat for you.
Factors On How To Squat For Your Fitness Goals
First, there are some things to consider to be able to squat in ways that will work for certain body types Your form should coincide with the way particular body parts coordinate to engage the right muscle groups correctly.
- Your base. Starting from the bottom, planting your feet firmly on the ground should help stabilize the upper body as you push yourself upward alternating with lowering it once more. The position of the toes comes into play. Should the toes be parallel to the knees or should it stay behind? Pointed in, or pointed out? Should it be pointing straight ahead? It will depend on the person, so there is no one right way to do it.
- Feet width. Setting your feet apart will depend on your fitness goals. Will you go narrow, wide, or neutral? A wide stance supports the body’s muscle-growing process called hypertrophy. It also enables bodybuilders to go down deeper while holding the chest upright. Neutral squatting wherein the position of the feet are parallel to the hips works better for athletes.
- Weight positioning. Squatting using weights is another way to get you ahead faster throughout your fitness goals. Weights can be barbels, dumbbells, and even kettlebells. If you look at other people in the gym, you may find people supporting their load in various ways. There are four different types of holds:
- Front or goblet hold – weight is supported or held in front of the chest. Usually for holding one dumbbell or kettlebell when a type of exercise calls for it.
- Shoulder hold – when a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells are in use, the weight is supported at the shoulders and makes squatting easier when lifting heavier weights. However, those suffering from lower spine troubles may not be too keen on this kind of hold.
- Front rack – weightlifters make use of this position to hold barbells up front where weight distribution spreads at the shoulders and chest.
- Back rack –the upper back supports the weight of the barbell. It is the most common way to lift because of the wonders it works on back muscles like the glutes and the hamstrings.
Test Your Body To Find Your Squat
Now that you have some insights on body positioning for certain types of goals, you can determine your way of squatting through some simple steps. Because it is one of the most basic and foundational moves that aid muscle mass growth and power, it is also important to execute the movement without putting too much pressure on the knees. Being able to squat without pain, or if one is already suffering from pain, the goal you should be going after is to be able to do repetitions of squats for as long as you can. The perfect squat for you is out there, and through these exercises, you’ll also be able to point out what you’ll need to work on and what currently will work in your state right now.
- Establish your basic stance by standing straight up and putting your feet together. Next, squeeze your glutes for as hard as you can manage. Relax your upper body and while your glutes are still squeezing, alternately lift your left and right legs to the side, or waddle. Shift your weight while doing so. Observe where your toes are naturally pointing to and don’t try to be perfect.
- For the depth of your squat, your hips should reach just below the knees. It is not necessary to squat all the way down to the heels. A common bodyweight squat should test if your hips can dip low without forcing your heels to lift off from where you’re standing. If you’re experiencing discomfort while lowering yourself, your knees are giving away while performing a squat, or if you can’t get your quads low to the ground, it means that you don’t have the mobility to get to that ideal depth. The issue could also be with stability, which you can remedy by holding on to a pole or rig. Using your arms, lower yourself to the ground as deep as you can.
- Once you’re able to tell you maximum squat depth reach, your ankle mobility should be relaxed, and at best, should not be hindering your stability. If you find that your heels are lifting up while doing squats, find a way to elevate them. You can also improve the mobility of your ankles by performing this exercise. Kneel on one knee while the other is facing forward parallel your feet. Lean forward for two seconds then resume your natural stance. Go back and forth repeatedly then do the same with the other knee.
- The instability of the core will also be apparent when attempting squats. In this case, try a frontal load squat by using a kettlebell and bringing it up to your chest. Lower your hips just below the back of your knees while keeping your torso upright. The weight in front of you will engage your upper abdominal muscles as you try to resist lowering the load.
- Use a resistance band just above the knees if you find that squatting with a frontal load makes your knees unstable or wobbly. The weakness on your glutes may be the culprit for it. You can raise the engagement by performing exercises that can strengthen glute muscles.
These steps are just a few that will help you find your movement to be able to perform the right squat for you successfully. There are varying exercises that may also help your mobility and stability so your range of motion will increase.