How To Squat – 7 Tips

Want to learn how to squat effectively… and safely? Here are 7 steps to follow…

1. Head Up & Eyes

Looking up will keep your head up during the entire squat and allow you to keep your extension and arch keeping the weight centrally balanced. When you keep the natural arch in your back it allows the weight to be centrally balanced and will prevent you from falling forwards and putting more load onto your quads. If you’re using a low bar style technique keeping your head and eyes up will help distribute the load more onto your hamstrings. By doing this you will lift heavier, better and share the burden of the load between your hamstrings, glutes and quads more effectively.

2. Tight Bar

Getting good bar tightness is a massive thing overlooked by personal trainers, coaches and gym goers. Pull the bar tight into your back and don’t allow the bar to become loose until you have finished set. This will create tension throughout your entire body and will allow more muscles to become activated. Keeping the bar tight will also help you to stay tight and stable throughout the squat.

3. Get Your Chest up

The tendency is often to raise the hips and let the chest come too far forward when going down into a squat. Losing the arch puts more load onto the quads. By keeping your chest up and out you’ll keep a better extension and arch. Keeping the chest up will allow you to drive up and out of the whole better.

4. Get Your Elbows Forward

Ensuring your elbows are pushed forward creates the same benefits as keeping your chest and head up. It allows you to maintain your arch and drive through the entire squat. If you drive the elbows forward you automatically bring your chest up and out. Letting your elbows come back has the reverse effect.

5. Tight Abs

Keeping your abs tight during the squat will work wonders, especially when performing your heavy reps. Take a deep breath in and push your stomach out. This will create a more stable base by keeping you tight and solid throughout the squat. A belt will enhance it even more, but isn’t necessary to benefit from this technique. Just because a belt helps with this technique doesn’t mean you should wear it at every squatting session and for every exercise you perform. I never use a belt unless I’m doing very heavy singles and doubles or coming close to a competition and want to get used to wearing it.

6. Pushing Your Knees Out

This is a very basic technique of the squat, but I see it ignored all the time. Keep your knees pushed out when coming down into and coming up out of the squat. Allowing your knees to cave inwards at any time will result in losing drive and power.

7. Feet position

You can choose many different feet positions to squat with. The wider you go, the more hamstrings / hip muscles will be contracted. The closer your feet, the more quad dominant the movement becomes. Either way you want to push out on the outside of your feet/shoes. This will activate more hip muscles and give you something to drive against and prevent your knees from caving inwards.

Next time you squat try including some of these tips if you aren’t doing them already. When you become comfortable with one, add another until you’re incorporating all of them.

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Personal Trainer Dublin – Jay Farrant

Jay Farrant Personal Trainer Dublin.

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