Whether you are looking to build muscle in your legs, have them become stronger, or you just want your legs to look better, over the next few days I’ll share my top three leg exercises. Today you’ll hear all about squats, next is lunges, and then deadlifts. Squats work your largest groups of muscles in your lower body: gluts, quads, hamstrings, and even a little of your calves.
The analogy I use to describe the form of a proper squat is imagining a porta-potty, because that’s something you don’t want to touch, and you don’t want to miss! Although I joke about the porta-potty analogy, the squat is an excellent functional exercise, meaning it mirrors what you do in everyday life. Practicing the motion of the squat is also great for the aging population, as it helps maintain independence.
To do a proper squat, stand with feet shoulder width apart, keep your knees behind your toes. Inhale as you lower your hips and press your gluts back (like you are hovering over a porta-potty!). If you are able to lower to a 90 degree angle, that’s fine. However, careful if your hips drop lower than your knees, as this can add stress to your knees. Exhale as you press back up.
In all exercises, it’s important to stay within your comfort level and current range of motion. For your upper body your shoulders are pressed back to ensure good posture, and your chest is forward, which I describe as “looking proud.”
There are many ways to do squats, what’s your favorite way?