The ultimate good squat guide

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What’s exactly in a squat?

More than you think, actually. But get it right and you will have a butt to die for and legs toned and strong!

At Transition Zone’s event with Sweaty Betty last Sunday we learn what goes in to a decent squat. Here Claire Finlay, Sweaty Betty Ambassador and Founder of Transition Zone, goes through three simple steps to ensure you’re busting it out right, too…

WHY SQUAT?

It’s a compound exercise (uses two or more different joints) that uses multiple, large muscle groups.

Great for… targeting glutes, quads, quadriceps and hamstrings!

Strengthens bones, ligaments and tendons.

And you’ll burn calories.

WHAT MAKES A BAD SQUAT?

An arched lower back or rounded upper back.

Bending from the knee rather than the hips.

Weight forward, not back.

Heels raised off of the floor.

Gaze is down and closed chest.

IMPROVE YOUR SQUAT BY:

Feet hip width apart – facing forward.

Flex at the hip first (not knees) by sticking your bottom back and down.

Keep looking forwards while pinching your shoulder blades together.

Keep your knees over your toes.

Drive back through heels.

Keep chest lifted.

Using a wall for guidance sit in an imaginary chair (90 degrees – knee, shin and ankle alignment).

ONCE YOU’VE MASTERED IT, MAKE IT MORE DYNAMIC:

Try jumping vertically – being sure to maintain your squat stance when you land.

Travel side to side – jump squat travel right, jumps squat travel left.

Use a resistance band and ‘crab walk’ sideways (don’t allow the knees to roll in).

Accelerate forward with a long jump (think like an Olympic Long Jumper).

Add weights, squat to shoulder press.

Squat to bicep curls.

4 min TABATA Squat workout. 
20 seconds of work (push hard). 10 seconds of rest x8 (20.10 x 8)

Jump squats 20 x secs, REST x 10 sec

Side to side jump squats 20 x sec, 
REST 10 x sec

Forward long jump squats 20 x secs,
REST 10 x sec

Low squat pulse (hips and knees in line and tiny up and down pulse)

Repeat whole sequence again