Few things are as synonymous with pain and suffering as “leg day” at the gym — and few things are as synonymous with leg day as squats.
Yet, squats are one of the most abused exercises of all time. OK, maybe that’s a little hyperbolic, but watch people do squats and you’ll see what we mean. Suffice it to say that people get very creative with their form. True, this is humorous when witnessed from afar (as noted in a recent blog), but not so funny when you’re the one shuffling around like Quasimodo after a trip to the gym.
So, how do you avoid ice packs and bed rest after doing squats? Below are some tips.
To begin with, when you squat, remember these three things:
- Chest up.
- Hips back.
- Knees out.
Most people squat in a relatively straight line to and from the ground, rather than pushing their hips back and driving their knees out. Unfortunately, this type of movement requires a strong core and upper back — attributes not everybody possesses. As a result, those who maintain this posture have a tendency to lean forward as the weights get heavier, putting undue stress on their knees and spines.
To counteract this, you should practice keeping your chest up, hips back and knees out by doing wall squats. This exercise is performed by facing a wall from about 5-6 feet away and trying to squat as deep as possible without toppling into the wall. Start with a light weight and gradually increase it as your form improves.
You should also try changing the position of the bar on your back. Remember, the higher the bar on your neck, the more likely you are to tip forward — so, try to keep the bar lower on your traps while still maintaining control of the weight and not putting too much pressure on your shoulders.
Lastly, breathe! Yeah, we know, this seems obvious, but you’d be amazed by the number of people who seem to think the intake of oxygen is a waste of time when they lift. Yet, proper breathing not only ensures that your muscles function properly, it also aids in maintaining a rigid core when you lift — which is especially important when one is doing squats.
So, take a deep breath before each rep and exhale slowly as you ascend. Concentrate on keeping your core tight and your form strong as you complete each set.
If you put these three tips into practice, we promise you’ll see results! Also remember to fuel your leg workouts with Noo Fuzion™. Produced by the makers of the legendary Bang® Energy drinks, Noo Fuzion™ is an ultra-potent, high-performance pre- and/or intra-workout drink that focuses on both mental and physical performance enhancement.
Fueled by a staggering 10,050 mg of active ingredients, Noo Fuzion™ utilizes a novel scientific approach designed to promote lean muscle growth, energy, focus, recovery and performance. Grab yours today and start squatting!