By: Sarah Llanos - Fit City Cross Fit
There is no movement more functional than squats. From senior citizen to toddler and everyone in between, we all squat. How many times a day do you use the toilet? Pick something off the floor? Grab a container from a bottom cabinet in the kitchen? Load the laundry into the front loader washing machine? Get in and out of a chair or the car? If you do any of these things daily, then you are already squatting. All day. Every day. So how can we ensure our independence as we age? How can we prevent injuries or falls? Training your body to squat properly is one huge step in the right direction. Squats help build strength in your legs, glutes and core along with burning fat, regulating hormones, and when done properly, reducing injury.
If you struggle with squatting it may be one of the following reasons:
- Knee Pain
- Back Pain
- Difficulty balancing, fear of falling
- Not enough strength
All of the above issues can be resolved with proper squat form and routine squatting
- Feet under hips, hand extended for balance
- Hips back and down. Knees out on the descent.
- Feet flat, knees pushing out, chest tall. Hips below knees, if possible.
- Stand up tall, belly tight.
Squatting should not cause pain or injury if done correctly. Faults to avoid:
- Knees collapsing inward as you descend/ascend
- Knees collapsing inward in bottom position
- Heels rising off the ground
- Rounded back
- Video yourself squatting. Does your squat look like the pictures above? Can you determine which fault may need to be addressed?
- Squat often, preferably daily.
- Stretch your hips.