Squats are one of my favorite exercises to work the lower body. You need to be able to get up from a chair (or toilet) your entire life. This makes it a functional exercise that should be incorporated into any fitness routine.
One of the top complaints I hear about squats is “They hurt my knees!”. Well, they do hurt your knees if you do them wrong. Do them right, they will actually help strengthen the muscles around your knees.
*The key is to start simple and modify the squat.
Modified Squat: Keep your hips back behind your toes and use your arms for counter balance.
Full Squat: When you feel successful with the modified squat, take it down more. Only go down as far as you can without losing form, this is about it for me when my feet are shoulder width.
Wide Squat: Feet wider than shoulder width will focus on inner thighs more.
Closed Squats: Focus on outer thigh more. Don’t let your knees go over your toes.
Staggered Squat: Take a half step forward with one foot. One side is always easier. Do a few more repetitions on the weaker side.
You want to do as many as you can with good form. You should always feel “the burn” when you are done. Don’t be afraid to add resistance or change the tempo of the exercise.
In part 2, I will show you how to incorporate balance and movement into your squats.
*Consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.
Hope you are having a nice weekend!