How to do squats (video): proper squat form anyone can master

Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS — Written by Sara Lindberg on September 11, 2019


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The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise that requires several muscles in your upper và lower body toàn thân to lớn work together simultaneously.

Many of these muscles help power you through daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, bending, or carrying heavy loads. They also help you persize athletic-related activities.

Adding squats to your workouts can help boost your exercise performance, decrease your risk of injury, & keep you moving more easily throughout the day. But these are just a few of the benefits.

Keep reading khổng lồ learn more about the rewards you can reap from doing squats và variations you can try for added benefits.


What muscles do squats work?

If there’s one exercise that has the ability lớn challenge most of the muscles in your toàn thân, it’s the squat.

The obvious muscles targeted are in the lower body toàn thân, but in order to lớn bởi this compound exercise correctly, you also need to use several muscles above your waist.

The lower muscles targeted in a squat include your:

hip flexors

In addition lớn the lower toàn thân, the squat also targets your core muscles. These muscles include the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, & erector spinae.

If you vị a baông chồng squat or overhead squat, you’ll also work the muscles in your shoulders, arms, chest, và back.




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How to bởi vì a basic squat

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Known as a bodyweight squat or an air squat, the most basic type of squat uses just your toàn thân weight for resistance. Variations of the squat can include weights, lượt thích barbells or dumbbells, resistance bands, or yoga balls.

To vì chưng a basic squat:

Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, engage your abdominals, và shift your weight onlớn your heels as you push your hips baông chồng into lớn a sitting position.Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel lớn the floor. You should feel the squat in your thighs & glutes.Pause with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes.Exhale and push back up khổng lồ the starting position.


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What are the benefits of doing squats?

The các mục of squat benefits is lengthy, but to summarize & point out the top picks, here are seven key benefits of doing squats.

1. Strengthens your core

Having strong core muscles can make everyday movements like turning, bending, and even standing easier. Not only that, but a svào core can improve your balance, ease pain in your low back, và also make it easier to maintain good posture.

A 2018 study that compared core muscle activation during a plank with back squats found that baông chồng squats resulted in greater activation of the muscles that support your bachồng.

Based on these findings, the researchers recommended targeting the core muscles with back squats to lớn reduce the risk of injury and to boost athletic performance.

2. Reduces the risk of injury

When you strengthen the muscles in your lower toàn thân, you’re better able lớn exexinh tươi full-body toàn thân movements with correct khung, balance, mobility, và posture.

Plus, incorporating squats in your overall workout routine also helps strengthen your tendons, ligaments, và bones, which, according to the American Council on Exercise, may help reduce your risk of injury.

3. Crushes calories

Calorie burning is often equated with aerobic exercises such as running or cycling. But performing high-intensity, compound movements lượt thích the squat can also crush some serious calories.

For example, according khổng lồ Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person can burn approximately 223 calories doing 30-minutes of vigorous strength or weight training exercises, like squats.

4. Strengthens the muscles of your lower body toàn thân

Your lower body toàn thân boasts some of your largest and most powerful muscles.

From getting out of bed, lớn sitting down in a chair, your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and calves are responsible for almost every move you make.

Strength training exercises like squats can help strengthen và tone the muscles in your lower body toàn thân. When these muscles are in good condition, you may find that you can move more comfortably, with less pain, & that everything from walking to bending khổng lồ exercising is easier to do.

5. Boosts athletic ability & strength

If you compete in a sport, adding jump squats lớn your workout may help you develop explosive sầu strength và tốc độ which, in turn, may help improve your athletic performance.

A năm 2016 study investigated the effects of jump squat training done 3 times a week over the course of 8 weeks.

Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that jump squat training has the ability lớn improve sầu several different athletic performances simultaneously, including sprint time and explosive strength.

6. Variety helps with motivation

Once you master the basic squat, there are many different types of squat variations you can try. Changing up your squats can help keep the exercise interesting, while also activating different muscle groups.

Squats can be done with just your toàn thân weight. They can also be done with weights, like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or medicine balls, or with resistance bands or yoga balls.

7. Can be done anywhere

To vày bodyweight squats, you don’t need any equipment. All you need is your body toàn thân & enough room to lớn lower your hips into a sitting position.

And, if you’re pressed for time, you can still benefit many muscle groups by doing 50 squats a day: Try doing 25 in the morning và 25 at night. As you get stronger, add 25 to lớn the afternoon.


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