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How To Do Squats Correctly: Learn the Proper Squat Technique

written by: lizblackwood • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 2/28/2010

Increase leg strength and flexibility by learning how to do squats correctly. Learn the benefits of squats and how they can improve your body.

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    Squats do amazing things for your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves all at once. They are an easy exercise that you can do anywhere. You can do them while watching your favorite television program, while doing the dishes, or even at work between customers or on break. You can maximize your work out if you know how to do squats correctly. In this article, you will learn how to perform the perfect squat and the benefits of adding squats to your exercise routine.

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    How To Do Squats Correctly

    You only need to set aside five to ten minutes for this exercise. When you learn how to do squats correctly, this five to ten minutes will help your body gain many rewards. Starting with a nice bottom.

    1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Your toes, knees, and hips should be in a straight line.
    2. Tilt your hips back, as if you were pulling your belly button towards your spine. Contract the abdominal muscles.
    3. Slowly lower your body, as though you are trying to sit in a chair.
    4. If you can, do down until your knees are parallel with the floor. If you can not, go as low as you can.
    5. Keeping the weight in your heels, slowly push your body back into the starting position.
    6. At the top of this movement, do not lock your knees. Keep a slight bend in them.
    7. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times, performing one to three sets. For each repetition, count to three on the way up and on the way down. This will help you to judge if you going to o fast.
    8. After your sets, stretch the quadriceps and hamstrings. Spend 10 to 15 seconds on each stretch.

    Tips to Maximize this Exercise:

    • Warm up with five minutes of cardio beforehand.
    • Stand in front of a mirror to watch your form and to make sure that your knees stay behind your toes.
    • To increase the difficulty, hold a barbell across your shoulders or at your sides.
    • Keep your neck in line with your spine and breath continuously.
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    Benefits of Squats

    Increase Knee Strength – By using the proper squat technique, especially when lowering your knees below parallel, your knees will become stronger. Squatting deep can help you avoid knee injuries.

    Increase Muscle Mass – Due to the amount of stress that squats put on your body, they increase your overall muscle mass.

    Create Better Posture – When doing squats properly, your back, hips, core, and legs are strengthened. This will help you with your posture and prevent lower back injuries.

    Increase Leg Strength and Flexibility – Leg strength and flexibility is a benefit from squats that you can use everyday and not only at the gym.

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    References

    Muscle and Health: How To Do Squats - www.muscleandhealth.org/How_To_Do_Squats.html

    Muscle Mag Fitness: Everything About Squats - www.musclemagfitness.com/bodybuilding/exercises/everything-you-want-to-know-about-squats.html