Do You Know How to Do a Proper Body Weight Squat?

October 17, 2016
     Can you do a body weight squat? If so is it a PROPER bodyweight squat? So now are you wondering what the difference is? Let me educate you... Don’t worry, it won't hurt your legs. These helpful suggestions will make your body feel good, and you’ll truly understand what a squat is.
Is Your Stance too Wide or too Narrow

    Genetically we are all different sizes and shapes with longer or shorter legs and torsos. But..there are some key points we can all follow.
When you stand too wide or too narrow your squat suffers because you cannot get low enough and your balance is then compromised. A big part of this is individual hip mobility – sometimes our bodies can’t get as low as we should be able to. So if you set your feet shoulder width apart and turn them slightly out you can get the best depth for your personal best. 

Are Your knees Tracking Over Your Feet

     If you drew a line from your heel to your toe, and extended that line in both directions your knees should bend and flex over that line. If the knees collapse inwards you will be putting a lot of stress on your knees. Your knee is supposed to be a hinge. Putting sideways stress on your knee is a bit like hanging off of a swinging door. Sure, you could do it, but it wasn't built to handle that kind of pressure. Start by turning your kneecaps out so that they are tracking right over your feet. Think "knees out." Think about your knees like a headlamp facing straight ahead.
Are You Squatting Deep Enough

     Squating is used in daily life when we get into a sit to stand position, lift up a small child or put our shoes on. A body squat position means getting your upper thighs parallel to the ground while sticking your bottom out like your getting ready to sit in a chair. 
Getting beyond parallel with your squat is better for your body because you get more muscle building activation with your flexed knees. In the long run this provides stronger more stable knees. The ability to squat deep is an indicator of the quality of overall movement in your lower body.

Is Your Back Straight and Core Tight

    When I say straight I mean that the natural curvature of your spine is held tightly throughout the squat. By keeping your chest up and tummy tight (think belly button to spine)  your back will be in the correct position as well as your core. 

Are You on Your Toes

    By keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground you are insuring you will maintain your balance while squatting. Stay back on your heels and push through them as if you are pushing the floor away from you when you squat.

    Strong legs are important for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are great for increasing leg strength. In addition your core and stabilizing muscles get stronger too. These stronger muscles help to maintain balance which help to prevent falls. Full body squats load the spine and have been found to significantly increase bone mineral density providing protection against fractures and osteoporosis.