The squat. Whether you are a powerlifter looking to add some pounds to your total or a recently retired desk warrior looking to avoid having knee pain with household activities, being able to do a bodyweight squat is a foundational necessity.
The bodyweight squat can be used as a good baseline indicator of movement in an assessment, to grease the groove in a warm-up before you start adding load, or as an exercise in a circuit to get you sweating.
As an assessment, the bodyweight squat will allow you to detect if there are any mobility restrictions or stability problems that are potentially limiting your performance or causing you some pain or discomfort while squatting. Furthermore, the bodyweight squat can be used as an indicator of whether your interventions for increasing your mobility or stability are actually working.
Similarly to its use in an assessment, a bodyweight squat can be a staple movement in your warm-up routine, especially if you are incorporating squats into your workout for the day. A bodyweight squat in your warm-up can work to get the blood flowing into the legs, grease the groove to prepare you for heavier loads, and identify if there are any areas that deserve some attention (tightness or uncomfortable areas) before your workout.
Lastly, a bodyweight squat as a part of a circuit of bodyweight exercises can work to jack up the metabolic effect of your workout. As it does not require any equipment, you can throw them in with some running intervals while you are outside to spice up some conditioning work or cardiovascular endurance training.
To learn proper squat form, check out the video and follow the guidelines below:
Movement Category - Lower Body Push
Exercise Description - The most foundational exercise of the squat pattern.
- Start with feet shoulder-width (or slightly wider if more comfortable) with the feet straight or slightly angled out.
- Take a sharp inhale in the standing position to brace your torso.
- Begin the descent by pushing your hips down and back, continuing until the crease of your hips drops below your knees (90 degrees).
- Begin the ascent with a forceful exhale as you drive your feet through the ground to return to the standing position.
Remember, exercise selection and proper form is crucial to maximize success and prevent injury. Your GymCloud fitness coach can help you properly perform EVERY exercise in your custom workout program.