Learning how to squat properly is a fundamental movement necessary for the performance of your everyday activities. The perfect squat is a functional exercise that engages multiple muscle chains in one move. Basically, it’s your full-body “bread and butter.”
Unlike other foundational exercises, the squat involves multiple muscle groups and joints working in various planes of motion. When an exercise calls for such a variety of movements, lots of factors – from your anatomy to your mobility – can affect the way your body squats properly. The over-arching goal is to maximize the effectiveness of the move while keeping you safe from injury. More specifically, this movement aids in building the lower body and core strength necessary to correctly execute other functional movements.
Form Ideals of the Proper Squat
Bodyweight squats are a great way to build strength and nail form before progressing onto weighted variations.
1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and torso upright
2. Back is straight
3. Knees do NOT track over/past the toes
4. Butt is pushed back and down as if you are going to sit in a chair
5. Hips dip towards/below knee height
6. Weight is in the heels
-Michele Schultz, PT, DPT