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How to do Squats Effectively and Efficiently ?

Squats are integral part of exercises as it helps in warming up the body for other major workouts such as weight lifts or pushups. They are often referred to as “King of Workouts” due to their higher preference.  Squats also help in reducing the excess fats or cellulites present in hips/buttocks and thigh regions of the body. Though, squats are considered as “Leg Exercises” but they engage every muscle in the body making them strong and flexible. Mostly, it is advised to engage in simple Body Weight (BW) squats rather than dumbbell/weighted squats as they help in making our shoulders, back and neck muscles stronger as compared to the latter. Not only muscles they also strengthen the bones and also help in averting early joint pain problems.

Tips for Performing Squats Effectively and Efficiently

  • BW (Body Weight) Squatssquats

As mentioned earlier BW Squats are much more efficient as compared to Dumbbell squats as they help in engaging with more muscles of the body as compared to weighted squats. Let us understand how we can effectively and efficiently perform them.

  1. Stand properly on your feet with back in erect position. Now, spread out your feet a bit wider than your shoulders for a proper position.
  2. After setting your feet in position, make sure that your legs are straight and not bent. Then stretch out your hands in such as manner that they are parallel to the ground and the palms are facing downwards.
  3. Now after setting up the respective positions start moving your hips backward as we start bending our knees.
  4. Keep in mind that the shoulders, chest, back and neck are in straight positions and are not bend or inclined while bending or unbending your knees.
  5. Please make sure that squats must be performed with empty stomach, else it can lead to nausea or vomiting.

Pro Tips:

  1. Squats basically concentrates on heels rather than knees. Hence it is advised to concentrate and shift on the bodyweight onto the heels as it also stretches the glutens and hamstrings and makes them stronger.
  2. You can also add jumps to your squats as they are beneficial to heart and escalates the blood circulation rate across the body. After bending your knee for a squat return back to normal by just jumping back to you feet.
  3. It is also beneficial to breathe deeply and slowly while doing squats as it helps in inducing oxygen in the blood which further enhances the blood flow rate. It also oxygenates the body muscles and makes them strong.
  4. While performing squats take steps forward or backward as if we do while walking. Doing so creates tension across the glutens and hamstrings making them strong and flexible.

 

  • Dumbbell/Weighted Squats

Weighted squats are a type of squats that are usually done using weights or dumbbells that causes tension across the body thus making shoulders and back muscles stronger. Though, if you are a beginner start doing BW squats rather than beginning with Weighted squats. There are basically three types of weighted squats: Front, Back and Goblet Squats. Out of these three front and back squats are much recognized and more effective.

a) Front Squats: Front squats are usually done using barbell kept of the collarbone of the body. Here are some steps to perform this workout.front squats

  1. Hold on to the barbell and place it exactly on your deltoids by placing your arms under the barbell and keeping your elbow high and parallel to the ground.
  2. Place you legs and feet in such a manner that they are just wider than the width of your shoulder.
  3. Now simple push your hips backward as the knees start to bend for a squat and make sure that the head in held high as looking down can lead to imbalance.
  4. Now while rising up on your feet start exhaling and keep the weights totally on your helps rather than knees.
  5. This workout must be done under instructor’s guidance as doing alone may lead to hazards.

Pro Tips:

  1. Though weighted squats is a strenuous workout but, sometimes you can hold on to a particular position with weights for an interval of time as doing so can burn unnecessary fats present in the body.
  2. Do not grip the barbell completely. Rather just hook on your fingers to the bar. Grip tightening the whole bar can lead to injury in the wrists.
  3. While un-racking the bar from the deltoids, do not hurry or hasten, as doing so can cause injury.

 

b) Back Squats: This squat is usually done by placing the barbell of the weights behind your neck on the shoulder. Steps to perform this workout are as follows:back squats

  1. Hold on to the barbell and place it right behind the neck just on the edges of muscular part of shoulders.
  2. Now slowly place your feet as wide as your shoulders in such a way that hips are between the widths of the legs spreaded.
  3. Start bending your knees by pushing the hips backwards and placing the head, chest and back straight.
  4. Do not bend your neck or look downwards. Doing so can harm your neck or can lead to imbalance.
  5. Make sure that this workout is done under Instructor’s guidance to avoid hazards.

Pro Tips:

  1. Do not hasten while un-racking the weights or barbell from the shoulder as it can be injurious.
  2. While performing this workout concentrate your weight and the weight of the bar on the helps and hips rather than placing in on the knees.
  3. And breathe deeply while performing this workout as it helps in oxygenating the body and increasing the blood circulation.

 

c) Goblet Squats: It is similar to that of the above mentioned squats but, the only difference is that in goblet squats kettle bells are used as weights and squats are done.goblet squats

Pro Tips:

  1. Handle kettlebell carefully as mishandling can lead to wrist injuries.
  2. Inhale and exhale deeply while doing squats. Breathing deeply helps in maintain the oxygen levels in the body.
  3. Place the weight of your body and the external weights on your heels rather than knees or back.

[Also Read: 10 Best Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss]

Image Credits: womenshealthmag.com, loseyoself.files.wordpress.com, pivotalphysio.com

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