Weekly Exercise

Exercise of the Week: How to Do A Squat

Squats are an excellent exercise to help strengthen your quads (front of the legs), the hamstrings (back of the legs), as well as the glutes. Often what happens, though, is that people squat with a form that either doesn’t engage the muscles, or sets them up for injury- especially if they start to add weights. Today, we’ll share how to do chair squats, which are great for beginners to learn how to squat correctly.

  • Choose a chair that allows you to sit on the seat with your thighs parallel to the floor. If your seat is lower, add a flat surface (that won’t slip around) to raise the height of the seat. A good options is large books (not thick ones, but those that have a large surface area). Depending on the height of your bed, you may be able to use the edge as a substitute. In my video, you’ll notice that my chair could be a little bit lower so that I could squat lower.
  • Position your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly at an outward angle.
  • Maintain good posture- avoid rounding your back, as this can lead to injury.
    • Keep your neck in neutral position, meaning you’re not looking upwards or down- your neck should be in line with your back.
  • Throughout the movement, rest your weight in your heels, not the balls of your feet. This will help your movement as you squat down.
  • Squat down, pushing your bottom backwards. It may feel awkward at first, but it is essential to achieving proper form. This is where the chair comes in. As you build strength, you may need the chair for a moment as you transition to the starting standing position. And, it gives you a target as grow accustomed to how to squat.
  • One common mistake with squats is for people to lean too far forward. That puts strain on your lower back and doesn’t adequately engage your quads.
    • You’ll know you’re in good form if the angle of your legs is the same as the angle of your back, like in the image below:
  • You’ll then rise to the starting position. Repeat the motion 12-15 times for a set, work towards three sets.

Please speak to your provider before starting any new exercise regimen.

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