How to Do Squats Properly for Maximum Benefits

Steps to do squats properly. (Image via Pexels/Ivan Samkov)
Steps to do squats properly (Image via Pexels/Ivan Samkov)

To reap the maximum benefits of squats, you need to do squats properly with correct stance and avoid common mistakes.

Squats are a great functional exercise you should incorporate in your workout routine. Some of the benefits you can get are enhancing body posture, working the core muscles, increasing lower body strength, improving joint health, and more. This exercise also engages the ankles, knees, hips, and core.

How to Do Squats Properly?

Barbell back squats (Image via Pexels/Li Sun)
Barbell back squats (Image via Pexels/Li Sun)

In this article, we will discuss how you can do squats properly, what are the mistakes that you can avoid, different types of squats, and benefits you can get from doing squats regularly.

Bodyweight squats are foundational moves that engage the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. Here are the steps you should follow to do squats properly:

  • Begin the bodyweight squat in a straight standing position with your feet apart at shoulder distance and hands on the sides.
  • Make sure your feet remain screwed to the ground, chest lifted ,and core muscles braced.
  • Drive your hips to the back while bending your knees to assume a posture similar to seated on an invisible chair till your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • The knees should not go beyond the nkles. Pause before driving evenly through your feet to assume a standing position.
  • Repeat.

Mistakes to Avoid During Squats

Goblet squats. (Image via Pexels/Sofi Franchella)
Goblet squats. (Image via Pexels/Sofi Franchella)

There are certain mistakes you should avoid to do squats properly, especially beginners. That will help in both maximizing the benefits and avoiding injury. They include:

  • Rushing through the repetitions can compromise the stance of the exercise, which will make the movement itself ineffective.
  • Heels elevating off the floor and bodyweight shifting to your toes, especially among beginners.
  • Curving the spine and upper body can create a hunchback, which should be avoided.
  • Feet positioned too narrow or too wide, not keeping spine in a neutral position, letting the chest fall to the front, letting the knees cave in and go beyond the ankles, and more.

Different Types of Squats

They're as follows:

1) Jump Squat

This is a plyometric exercise that can get the heart racing and burn calorie in no time. Jump squats will also boost the endurance and explosive power of the body.

How to do a jump squat:

  • Begin in a straight standing position with your feet apart wider than hip distance and toes pointing slightly outwards.
  • Drive your hips down and to the back while keeping the chest lifted and knees bent
  • Drive your hands back in a swinging manner before exploding with your feet and jumping vertically.
  • Land your body softly before immediately driving it back into a squat. Repeat.

2) Goblet Squat

Goblet squats are also a decent squat variation which can help increase core strength while building power in the lower body. It can also help in toning the thighs and strengthening the glute muscles.

How to do a goblet squat:

  • Begin in a straight standing position with good posture before clutching the kettlebell with the horn right in front of the chest.
  • Drive your hips down and to the back along with bending your knees to assume the squat position.
  • Make sure your chest remains lifted. Reverse the movement and repeat.

3) Hack Squat

Hack squats are an effective variation, especially for beginners. This exercise can increase strength along with helping you with exercises such as barbell back squats, pistol squats, and more.

How to do a hack squats:

  • Begin by stepping onto the machine with your knees almost straight and feet apart at shoulder distance.
  • Hold the handles with the palms and shoulders right under the pads and elbows bent.
  • Squat down before reversing the movement. Repeat.

Bottom Line

Hack squats (Image via Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto)
Hack squats (Image via Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto)

To avoid getting injured and gain maximum benefits, it's important to do squats properly with correct stance. Common benefits include increased strength, toned body, core stability, better posture, improved balance, and more.

Follow the steps mentioned above to avoid common mistakes and to do squats properly. There are also variations of squats you can include in your workout as mentioned above.

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Edited by Bhargav