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Correct Form for Squatting

What is the correct form and technique to perform the worlds most favourite glut exercise, the squat. There are so many variations of a ‘Squat’ but we are going to keep it nice and simple and start with the basic barbell squat. The best area to perform a squat is within a squat rack which gives you the basic support & guidance due to the width of the frame, assisted safety bars and also the right space to perform the movement.

First things first, like with any exercise lets make sure your feet are in the correct position, shoulder width and facing forwards. Once your feet are faced in the right position step into the bar with your hands the same width as if you was carrying out a barbell bench press. When you feel your feet are shoulder width, your hands are wide enough then step under the bar and take a solid grip and a deep breath and un-rack the weight from the squat rack. As you descend down you should feel that you are sitting backwards onto a chair and make sure that you keep your knees in line with your feet, don’t let them go over the ends of your toes. Your aim is to descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground, don’t worry if at first this doesn’t happen, with time and the right technique this will become natural as you keep working the movement.

The importance of form and technique during any exercise is key. If the slightest part of the exercise is performed incorrectly this can lead to a minor or major injury. Especially with performing squats, lower back damage / pain can occur. Another main reason why a lot of people have lower back pain is due to overworking the quadriceps muscles and not training the opposing muscle, the hamstrings. Hamstrings are just as important as our quadriceps so you need to make sure that you have an even ratio of training otherwise tight hamstrings can lead to lower back pain causing stress when carrying out day to day activities.

Brent Wood-Townend

Head Coach, MESA

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