Squats Exercise | Squat, Front Squat, Bodyweight, Isometric, Hack Squat

Learn how to do Barbell Squats, Dumbbell/Kettlebell Squats or Bodyweight /Isometric Squats for Big and Strong Leg Muscles.

I will also show how men and women can benefit from Squats for specific muscle and strength goals.

Squats are simply THE best exercise to build muscle and strength in legs, buttocks and thigh muscles.

You can start with bodyweight squats, move on to barbell squats and dumbbells squats.

You can do isometric squats or simply add kettlebell squats for a different leg workout.

Men build muscle and strength, women benefit from strong, toned legs and athletes build explosive leg power and strong, strong legs.

Purpose -- To Build Muscle Mass and Strength in the Thigh Muscles.

If there is only one exercise you want to do for Legs, then it should be Squats. Nothing compares to it.

Execution Technique.

You can use either Squats Machine or Free weights to perform Squats. The best way is to perform on a Power Rack {Very Safe}. Athletes of functional trainer should do free weight squats, initially under supervision.

Stance -- The basic stance is feet-shoulder-width-apart. A wider stance works on the inside of the thigh to a greater degree and a narrower stance works on the outside of the thigh to a greater degree.

Steps/Technique for Proper Squats

1. Step on the rack so that the Barbell rests across the back of your shoulders. {Raise the barbell and get away from the rack if you are doing with free weights}.

2. Bend your knees and lower yourself with your back straight and head up until your thighs are parallel to the ground. You can also go a little below the parallel if there is no reason not to go deep. I always do squats through full range of motion and make sure my hips are below my knees, i.e. I go below parallel.

3. Now raise yourself up using only the thigh power keeping your back straight to a position with legs nearly locked out.

Front Squats - Cool variation of Back Squats

Points to remember

  • Exhale while you exert.{ While moving up here }
  • Warm up well before Heavy Squats
  • Concentrate on form
  • Go as Heavy as possible

Squats are one of the toughest exercises to perform so many avoid them altogether and go with Leg Presses and lunges. And of course not many have the body they desire!!! Remember what you put in is what you get out and when it comes to thighs{ entire Lower body for that matter} Squats are the King.

Just to it.

Squats Safety and Efficiency Tips

1. Place the bar on your posterior deltoid muscles and not on upper trapezius muscles as it can stress cervical vertebrae more.

2. Keep wrists straight throughout the move as hyperextended wrists can result in stress on wrist joints.

3. Knees are best placed right over the feet and not beyond the feet as it can cause knees problems.

4. Keep your back naturally arched and not rounded.

5. Shoulder width stance is best but narrow stance helps quadriceps muscle more and a wide stance works on hip and butt muscles more.

Squats FAQs

  1. Is Squats prone to Injury?

Any exercise done incorrectly can lead to injury and squats is no exception.

  • Perform squats in controlled form with optimum weight.
  • Avoid leaning too far forward as the involvement of back muscles increases causing back injury. Maintaining a near-erect posture reduces the compressive effect on the discs.
  • Squats is a multi-joint exercise using more muscles than most people know. Squats is a delicate balance between quadriceps and hamstrings and I suggest that you always perform squats full range and go below parallel to get the most of this wonderful exercise.
  • American College of Sports Medicine recommends that a weight lifting belt should be used for very heavy lifts although a rise in intra-abdominal pressure has been shown to cause injuries in squats.

All in all, Squats is not an exercise you would want to miss unless you have had an injury before. In such a case get a physical examination done by a sports medicine specialist.

  1. Should I go deeper than knee parallel?

If there is no contraindication like poor flexibility and knee problems, then I suggest you go a little below the parallel at least. Numerous studies have shown that there is NO danger to the much debated patellofemoral joint when you go beyond knee deep.

Did you know that in Olympic Squat Lifts, the lift is not complete until the lifter breaks the parallel! The lift has to such that the crease where the thigh meets the torso should be lower than the knee.

Would you rather do partials or Full range moves? That should answer whether you should go just parallel or beyond in squats. [Hint - Full ROM is always the best bang for your energy].

   3.   Can you Partial Squats?

Yes you can. But half squats build stronger quadriceps only as the hamstrings are no totally called for. Make sure you do full squats 3 out of every 4 times.

More Leg Exercises

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