A lot of men dream of having the 19 inch python biceps of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the chiselled abdomen of Cristiano Ronaldo. If you’re one of these guys who aspire to become a jacked up human wrecking ball, then you need to hit the gym as soon as possible. However, aimless clanging and banging in the gym isn’t the most efficient way of building your body. If you’re looking for that one all powerful magical exercise that will get your body amazingly toned, then look no further than the squats.
The squat is pretty under-rated but it is actually the bread and butter of every bodybuilder and is often referred to as the king of all exercises. Most consider it to be the full body fitness staple that gets your hips, glutes, quads and hamstrings working. Squats are also known to enhance balance, coordination and bone density. Now that squats have attained your elusive attention, here are a few tips on how you to execute squats with perfection.
Bodyweight Squat Tutorial
1) Stand straight with your feet a little wider than shoulder width and your body aligned perpendicular to the ground.
2) Roll the shoulders back and down away from your ears.
3) Straighten your arms and align them horizontally with the ground. Palms should face downwards.
4) Inhale into the belly and move your hips backwards till your knees start to bend.
5) Simultaneously bend your buttocks backwards and keep your shoulders and chest upright. To maintain a neutral spinal position, face your head forwards with eyes fixed straight ahead.
6) Lower your hip joint as much as you can (even below the knees if possible)
7) Engage the core and exhale as you drive through the heels to revert back to a standing position.
Squats with no added weights are for novices. However, once you learn the art of having a proper posture during squatting you can proceed to the exercise of weighted squats. There are mainly three types of weighted squats. They are:
1) Goblet Squat
Place a kettlebell, a dumbbell or medicine ball at the centre of your chest while performing the basic squats according to the steps mentioned above. A Goblet Squat requires you to drop your elbows in between the legs inside the knees to allow greater motion. These squats can be a learning curve for beginners.
2) Back Squat
Using a barbell to perform a squat can prove to be quite a painstaking task. Seek a trainer’s help if you’re a beginner at this. Place the weight on your back at either a high or low position. Your hands should face forwards and your elbows should point down to the ground. In other words, form a W with your arms along the bar. Position the barbell over the centre point of your feet to prevent yourself from tilting and tumbling backwards.
3) Front Squat
This one right here is a pretty advanced exercise designed for the pros of bodybuilding. The barbell needs to be positioned on the collar bones. Since this exercise demands flexibility, one should master the bodyweight and back squats first before taking this up. The elbows should be perpendicular to the body while the fingers are placed under the bar, just in front of the shoulders.
The dos and don’ts of squats
People often make the mistake of not dropping low enough while squatting. To prevent this, you need to take a slightly wider stance that allows you to balance your body as you strive to squat deeper. People also let their knees drift inward and you can avoid this mistake by simply turning your toes out to about 5 to 20 degrees. You can also put most of your weight in the heels when lowering into a squat to prevent your body from leaning too far forward. Descending too quickly is yet another common squatting mistake. Go slow when you’re sitting into a squat. Finally, never forget to warm up. Try glute bridges to open up the hips.
Physical fitness is essential to a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t want to end up as a couch potato living on crackers and soda at the age of thirty then you should put on your sweatshirts and start getting into shape with these highly useful squat exercises.