Squats – irreplaceable for strong and muscular body
Squats are one of the strongest if not the strongest resistance-training exercise there is. We are talking about free-weighted squats, not smith-machine squats. Machines stabilize and help you, but free weights make your body balance itself. That contributes to generating real strength, because strength is not only muscles. That’s why it is important to know how to do squats.
There is a difference between non-weighted squats or light-weight squats and heavy-weight squats. By heavy weight we mean weights that you personally can barely lift 5 times in one set.
Heavy weights enable activation of more muscles in doing squats. Squats then work on:
How to do squats, the right way
- This exercise is best performed in the squat rack for greater safety. Set up the bar on the rack at an appropriate height for you. Then place the weights on the bar and step under the bar so that the back of your shoulders will lift the bar i.e the part slightly below your neck.
- Hold the bar with two arms on each side and lift it pushing up with your legs. Your back should be straight, not curved.
- Step out of the squat rack and set your legs at a shoulder distance between the feet, with the feet slightly pointed out. Hold your head straight and don’t turn it downward. Keep your back straight.
- Start moving downward with the bar, bending your knees until you reach parallel position of your upper legs with the floor.
- Inhale while you move down. Your knees should not be sticking out more than the tip of your toes.
- Lift the weight pushing up with your heels, until you reach a position where your legs will be fully straight. The thrust should come from your heels.
- Exhale while you lift up.
- When moving up or down, keep your back straight and don’t allow it to curve.
- Repeat as necessary.
If you don’t reach horizontal position with your upper legs parallel with the floor, you are losing 70% of the effectiveness of squats. Don’t do fake squats. It’s better to do it with lighter weights but with full range of motion than it is to do with heavier weights but not whole motion.
Practice how to do squats with proper form by doing these steps with an empty bar at first. Proper form is more important than the weights, or than the number of repetitions or sets.The most powerful exercises