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How to Do Squats Properly

Squats are a great exercise to strengthen the muscles of your lower body, burn some calories, and increase your overall health. But knowing the right technique is a must if you want to get the most out of your workout and avoid possible injuries. So today, 5-Minute Crafts is going to teach you how to do a proper squat to make your training more effective.

Step 1. Get in the proper starting position.

First, you need to get into the correct body position:

  • Place your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and slightly point them outward. Your weight should be on your heels and the balls of your feet.

  • Engage your core muscles and keep your back straight. Look in front of you and don’t bend your neck or tilt your head.

  • Keep your arms in front of you. They should be straight and parallel to the floor.

Step 2. Bend your knees and do a squat.

  • Start by bringing your hips back and lowering them closer to the floor (like you’re sitting in a chair). Focus on your hips and don’t start the movement by bending your knees.
  • Lower your hips until they’re parallel to the floor. Pause at the lowest point of the movement for a second.
  • Make sure to your knees don’t go beyond your toes.

Step 3. Return to the starting position.

  • Engage your glutes and leg muscles and push your body back to the starting position.

Mistake 1. You start the movement from your knees.

When you start with bending your knees instead of bringing your hips back (like you’re sitting in a chair), you put unnecessary pressure on your knees, and it makes it impossible to do a proper squat. If you struggle with doing this movement correctly, put a chair behind you and try to touch its edge with your glutes when doing a squat.

Mistake 2. Your knees rotate inward.

Make sure your knees always point in the same direction as your toes. When you bend your knees, they should be located above your feet. If you feel that you’re rotating your knees inward, concentrate on pushing them outward then push your body back to the starting position.

Mistake 3. You arch or hunch your back.

An improper back position damages your spine and increases your risk for disc injuries. Control your back position as much as possible while performing a squat and add exercises to your workouts, like planks, that help to build the strength of your back and core muscles.

Keeping the eyes forward while performing an exercise also helps to control the body position better.

Mistake 4. You lift your heels off the floor.

You should keep your weight on your heels and on the balls of your feet to ensure proper technique and muscle activation. You should be able to lift and wiggle your toes at any point in your squat.

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