Squats build the foundation of many other movements in life and in workouts. They work your whole body. Your legs bend and straighten to move the weight. Your abs and lower back muscles stabilize your trunk while your legs move. Using proper form during a full body movement is extremely important to avoid injury and to correct any muscle imbalances that may have caused past injuries in joints.
To set up your squat:
Before you begin your squat, you will want to make sure your feet are a little wider than shoulder width apart and that your toes are pointing forward. Stand tall with your chest and chin lifted and your core embraced.
While squatting, if you curve your back there will be much stress on your back while you perform the up and down motion of a squat. If you hold your back and core in a tight straight position while squatting not only will you be strengthening those areas but you will also be supporting your back to avoid any injuries. The more you focus on this kind of form, the stronger those muscles will become and the more naturally you will perform squats with great form!
To do this you will need to think about squeezing your shoulders back, lifting your chin and pushing your butt back like you are reaching for a seat behind you. Be patient with yourself as this can feel very awkward at first!
Many people experience knee injuries while performing squats with poor form. The more squats are performed with poor form the more an imbalance is developed in the leg muscles making it extremely hard to get back to performing squats correctly and building muscles in the right places. The good news is that this can be changed! Proper knee form will happen when your knees don’t pass your toes as you progress into the downward motion.
To do this you will need to keep your arms straight out in front of you to help with balance as you proceed down into the squat position.
Think about keeping your weight on your heels through the movement and pushing your hips back as you descend. If you find this to be very hard then start small and limit the range of motion until you feel more comfortable with your form.
At the bottom of the squat try to lift the front part of your foot and tap it to the beat of your favorite song. If only your toes are lifting you may need to push your butt back a bit more so that your foot can actually tap! On the way back up from your squat push your weight through your heels to drive yourself back up.
By performing a squat with perfect form you are building the muscles that act as a support system for your whole body, especially your back and knees. So be patient with yourself and take it one step at a time!