As noted in ourfirst posta squat is the most functional exercise you can perform. You do them everyday when you sit down and stand up or pick something up from the floor (or at least you should be!). With all of these movements, it is important to make sure you are performing the squat correctly to avoid adding unnecessary stress to your joints. This exercise helps provide cues for the proper squat.
The main focus of the proper squat is hinging from your hips (we will show the hip hinge in greater detail in a future post) and not bending through the spine. This allows you to maintain a neutral and stable spine and properly places more stress through your glutes. Keep your core engaged (draw your belly button towards your spine). Drive your weight through your heels to keep your knees from moving beyond your toes. Keep your knees from moving inward or towards each other. And don’t forget to breath, in on the down phase and out on the up phase. Progress to a deeper squat as long as you can maintain form!
Place a bench (or other object) in front of your knees, in line with your toes. The bench provides a stop point for how far forward your knees can travel. If your knees travel beyond your toes, patellar stress increases.
Place a theralooop around your knees during squats and externally rotate your hips (drive knees apart) to keep the band taught to promote "knees out" form. This will also activate those glutes!