Exercise of the week: Squat

The squat is a compound exercise, meaning it works multiple muscle groups at the same time. Although it is a basic movement, used all the time in every-day life, there are a number of common mistakes which people make in the gym which can increase risk of injury, pay particular attention to the key technique points.

 

Starting Position:

- Start with your feet shoulder width apart, or slightly wider.

- Your feet should be straight

- Squeeze your shoulders together to engage back and core muscles

 

Movement:

- Slowly sit the bum back towards the floor

- Bend your knees until thighs are parallel to the floor

- Squeeze your glutes at the bottom of the movement; drive your heels into the floor to stand back up

 

Sets/reps:

- Depending on the weight, use higher reps for lighter weight

- can do fewer sets with high reps

- 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps

Key technique points:

- Don’t arch your back

- Make sure weight is in your heels

- Don’t allow the knees to travel forwards, should always be able to see your toes

- Don’t allow your knees to collapse in, particularly during the upward phase

- Squeeze your glutes throughout, but particularly at the bottom and top of the movement

 

Progressions:

When you are able to easily complete each variation then move onto the next, however, if you are unable to control the movement then take a step back.

- Add weight, either to the front with kettlebell or back with a barbell

- Hold a pole or a weight over the top of your head for extra core emphasis

- Use an unstable surface, such as a bosu

 Progression: Add a weight to the front of the movement

Progression: Add a weight to the front of the movement

Regressions:

 It is always better to be able to perform an exercise with correct execution at an easier level then poor form at a harder level. Poor technique creates an injury risk – particularly in the lower back for core exercises.

- Remove any weights, or change where the weight is

- Use a box or a bench to sit down onto to help build confidence in movement pattern

- Use a TRX for support to improve movement pattern

 Regression: Sit back onto a box or bench

Regression: Sit back onto a box or bench

 Regression: Use a TRX to improve movement pattern

Regression: Use a TRX to improve movement pattern