Don’t believe the fitness myth that squats are bad for your knees. Most people don’t squat because it’s hard, uncomfortable and – at times – nauseating. But when done correctly, squats are quite safe and can actually be a deterrent to knee injuries.
How To Do a Perfect Squat:
- Warm up thoroughly with some light cardio and a series of dynamic stretches that focus on hip and leg mobility.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider and turn your toes out a bit. This helps your knees stay over your toes and prevents them from tracking inward.
- Stand with your bodyweight on your heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes at both the top and bottom of the motion.
- Keep your back straight, your shoulders back and your head neutral to protect your spine.
- Inhale before you start and hold your breath briefly as you descend. This increases intra-abdominal pressure to help stabilize your spine and core.
- Send your hips backward first, then follow by bending your knees. This helps concentrate the weight on your heels so you don’t tip forward and lose your balance.
- Descend slowly, using perfect form and control, until the crease of your hips drops below your knees or until you bottom out.
- Exhale and explode out of the bottom, driving through your heels to return to standing.
- Gradually increase the weight load to improve strength and solidify movement patterns.