The squat is one of the basic exercises in every Bodyattack release and an excellent functional drill. The same of course applies to each of its variants. Let me remind you one more time: “Functional” is the term used to describe exercises or movements that
- first of all, in contrast to machines, train not only one isolated muscle, but several muscle groups and that
- second, are part of and benefit us in everyday life.
So let’s have a closer look at the squat.
Today, everyone knows that in order to pick up an object from the ground, we should not just bend over from our back. This becomes even more important with heavier objects, as this kind of movement can injure our intervertebral discs. No – we should squat down and then pick up the object by stretching our legs again, with our backs straight and upright. So this is our squat in everyday life. And it would be quite annoying if we spare our backs, but then break our knees with a wrong squat technique, wouldn’t it?
Consequently, we should master this technique. What are the most important points you should focus on?
- The knees remain above the middle of the foot when viewed from the front, which means that your shins go straight up. Many athletes bend their knees inwards when squatting, which leads to an overload. To avoid this, you should actively push your knees outwards with every squat (if you like, you can put a rubber band around your knees and push them outwards against the resistance to ensure this and train your thigh muscles additionally).
- Your back should be long and straight. Thereby, you protect your back and also do something for a good posture. Be really careful not to make a hollow back or a hump!
The exact sequence of movements – step by step:
You start in an upright position. In the classic squat, your feet are a bit more than hip-wide, the belly is firm and tense, the chest proud and the shoulders low (actively pulling them away from the ears).
Now imagine you want to sit down onto a stool and push your hip back. You may also imagine that there is a thread attached to your tailbone and that someone is pulling it back horizontally. You automatically bend your knees and your upper body automatically leans forward a little. Remember to actively push your knees outwards and to keep your back long and straight (by controlling the posture of your chest and shoulders). The weight is on your heels! The deeper you go, the more intense the squat becomes, and at some point you’ll feel like you’re falling backwards. Now you should “dissolve” the position and straighten up again by tightening your booty – this pushes your hips forward again and your legs stretch automatically. Your long-term goal should be to lower your booty to your knees, your thighs will then be parallel to the floor.
What do you train?
In squat, you primarily train your buttocks (especially in the moment of standing up) and thighs (especially while moving down and pushing your knees outwards). But your belly and back are under tension, as well, and you train a good posture. Last but not least it is a great balance training especially for beginners and generally you get more feeling for your own body.
Once you master the classic squat, you can try one of the many variants, but the technique described above does not change.
- For example, you can move your feet wider or narrower and observe how this also changes the strain on the muscles.
- You can also make one-legged squats – but only when you’re sure you can keep the knee of your standing leg outside! If you want, in the beginning you may hold on to a TRX band, for example.
- Once you’ve reached the lowest point of your squat, you can lift your heels – beware, intensive calf training! But again – keep your knees on the outside, you mustn’t bend inwards.
- Only for advanced players: Jumping squats – jump up while standing up, land with soft, flexible knees out of your jump and go deep into the next squat again with a fluent motion.
Squats are really FIBEEER and every athlete should have this exercise as standard in his program.
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