Let’s learn how to squat with proper form! There are several types of squats but we will focus on the two most important versions in this article.
The standard squat which everyone needs to learn how to do with good and safe form for all around muscular leg and hip development.
Our second focus will be on the front squat which puts more emphasis on the quadriceps and will give you those extremely muscular thighs that look good in a pair of jockeys.
Before we get into how to do it, let’s talk about why you should squat.
Why Do Squats?
- Increase overall strength.There may not be a more effective single exercise which can outperform squats for overall strength gains. Squats not only work every muscle in your legs but also force your core, torso, arms, shoulders and back to engage in a properly performed squat.
- Increase enduranceMost people wouldn’t think about giving their endurance a boost by doing squats but because every muscle in your body has to engage to perform a squat, it is also extremely taxing on your cardiovascular system too.
- Put on muscle massDoing squats is super effective and adding bulk and size because the body responds best to big scale movements that force multiple muscle fibers to activate at the same time.
- Improve your flexibilityThis is especially true for men as doing a full squat takes solid hip and ankle flexibility that most Westerners lose do to long hours in the standard sitting position which is terrible for your body. Performing squats will force your hips and ankles to loosen up.
- Increase your explosivenessAre you an athlete? Even if you are just a weekend warrior, you probably want to be more explosive. Because squats force your tendons and ligaments to engage in the exercise, it can greatly increase your explosiveness!
Proper Squatting Method
Whether you are doing standard squats of the front version, there are a few things that stay the same.
- Keep your head up
- Your back should be straight
- Feet slightly more than shoulder width apart
- All muscles should be engaged once the weight is unracked
- Your core should be tight with your abs flexed
- Take a few deep breaths before you descend to oxygenate your muscles
- Squat deeply until your at least parallel with the floor but further is better
- Exhale as you raise back up to the starting position
The unique thing to keep in mind when doing front squats is that you want your arms slightly more than shoulder with.
Your elbows should be up and your wrists bent back with the bar resting slightly on the base of your neck.
If you have never done this before it will feel awkward, uncomfortable and a bit scary. Make sure you perform this for the first time in a squat rack, preferably with a spotter.
With that said, there is no better exercise to work your quads than a front squat and once you get the hang of doing them you will be hooked for life.
Get Ample Rest Time
The last thing you need to remember is to give your body enough rest and recovery time.
Squats are super intensive on your nervous system because your entire body is firing of electrical signals to handle the expansive movement.
Make sure you take at least 5 days off between squat days unless you are a seriously advanced lifter and know exactly what your body can and cannot handle.