Guys aren't the only ones spending hours in the weight room and focusing on building muscle. Women have transitioned away from the stereotype of being a cardio queen, to giving the guys a run for their money in the weightroom! Everyone knows that building more muscle results in lower body fat and a tighter, leaner physique. As a follow up to our hugely popular "Best Butt Exercises for Women" article, we're going to take a few minutes to review Proper Form For Squats. And guys... while you think you may already know it all, this is a good review for you too!
Whether you're a newbie in the weight room or a seasoned gym rat, here's some tips to review your form:
1. First focus on your body movement using just your body weight. In front of a full length mirror, grab a chair and stand in front of it. If you're at the gym you can do this with a weight bench or even using the seat of one of the machines. You'll want to be able to see your profile.
2. With your feet about shoulder width apart stand in front of the chair. For balance you can hold your arms straight in front of you.
3. Practice sitting down on the chair (although you're not going to fully sit, but rather just let your butt touch the seat.) Watch your profile. You should be leading with your butt, and your upper body should follow an imaginary straight line down, not back. Pay attention to your knees as well. They shouldn't be moving out to the side, but rather pointed straight forward, and your knees should not go over the tips of your toes.
4. Without using the momentum of your upper body, proceed to "stand back up" focusing on pushing through your heels.
5. Your abs should be tight throughout the whole movement. As you come back up to starting position, imagine your hips being pulled forward and when you're at the top of the movement your butt should be clenched tight. By watching yourself in the mirror you will be able to practice your form. Don't try this using weights because once you progress or go back to weights you need to be focusing on that, not checking yourself out in a mirror. This is a great exercise to improve your balance and get in tune with your bodies center of gravity as well.
As you progress with your squats workouts not only will you be burning calories and building muscle, you're going to well on your way to getting a backside you can be proud of at the beach this summer!