When I first got my CrossFit certification I was so excited to start coaching people! I first wanted to practice on my mom. She is no lover of exercise whatsoever so I thought it would be fun to torture her a little bit. The first thing she says to me…”is there going to be squats? because I don’t want to squat” BAhahahaha. Sorry to throw you under the bus there mom, but YES! squatting is ESSENTIAL!! It is probably the most functional movement you do every day!! Think of it. When you drop something on the floor, when you pick up a child, when you go to the bathroom for goodness sake! You squat all the time!
Since we squat all the time, you would think that squat form is pretty natural. Let me tell you right now, its not! to master the squat it takes a lot of time and flexibility.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind. Start off with your feet just outside shoulder width. Your toes can be pointing slightly outside, but not too far. If you can’t squat with your feet being that narrow, then you have some flexibility issues that need working on! Stretch out! especially hips and hammies.
So, make sure that your head and chest are high. You want to exaggerate the curve in your spine and stick your rear out. You should feel tension in your tush, hamstrings and low back if you’re doing this right. Bend at your hip but keep your chest as high as possible. Your knees should not collapse in or poke out in front of your toes. Keep your weight on your heels. Make sure you get as low as possible. That whole “don’t get your hips lower than your knees” thing is made up! You should go below parallel. That’s where the money is!! That’s where you perk that tush up ladies! Here’s the “official” picture of what a squat should look like.
This is Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, my friggin hero!!!! PERFECT air squat.
Now, it might be easier to hold on to something while you’re doing this. Work on getting your form and balance and then slowly let go as you progress. Now, do about 200 of these babies and buff those legs up!!
Seriously, get to it!