Bodyweight Squat

The squats are one of the most important movements out there both for beginners and experienced trainers. The squats sometimes referred to as "the king of exercises", and for a good reason. It is a compound movement that strengthens your whole body, it works more muscles and bigger muscles resulting in a greater release of muscle building hormones, leading to rapid muscle gains.

The main muscles worked are the quadriceps and the glutes. But the squats also work the hamstrings, adductors, calves, lower back and core muscles.

The squats will also help you burn fat by working many big muscles at once, it will strengthen the joints and bones, improve balance and flexibility, and increase overall fitness.

The squat can be done as a bodyweight exercise which is great for beginners since it requires no equipment and can be done at your home or office. Practice bodyweight squat until you'll master the correct form, then you can add resistance for even better results using a barbell or dumbbells.

Exercise Video

How to do

  1. Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. hold your shoulders down and back.
  2. Extend arms out straight so they are parallel to the ground, palms facing down, or cross them over your chest.
  3. Bend your knees and bring your hips down and back. Make sure the knees don't cross the toes. Hold the chest and shoulders upright and the back straight.
  4. Lower your hips until it at least on the same level as your knees, and the thighs are parallel to the floor. You can go lower if you want.
  5. Pause for a moment, then return to the starting position.

  6. You can go lower than parallel, just watch your knees. Going lower than knee height, also known as full squat, has many benefits. It will engage more muscle groups, especially the glutes and hamstrings, making this exercise much more effective. Try to go as low as you can while still keeping a good form. Full squats might put a lot of pressure on your knees and lower back, especially if you're doing them wrong. So watch out for knee and back pains, and don't go lower if you feel pain in your joints.

    Form Tips

    Push your hips back and don't let your knees pass your toes. Most people squat straight down, instead of pushing their hips back into a hip hinge pattern. This type of squat limits your mobility and puts the majority of the pressure on your quads, neglecting the glutes and hamstrings. Keep your hips back and knees out to the sides.

    Keep your back in a neutral position and hold your chest up. Don't round your back, this might potentially cause disc bulges, especially if you’re behind a desk all day. Don't curve the lower back too much either, overarching can damage the small stabilizing joints in your spinal column. Hold your core and abs tight to keep the back straight.

    Keep the knees from drifting inward. Knees drifting in will decrease your strength and increase your risk of joint pain and injury. Turning your toes a little out to the sides (10-20 degrees) might help to prevent this from happening.

    Push through the heels. The weight distribution will help keep the torso upright throughout the entire movement rather than causing you to teeter forward. It will also help keep the hips back and down.

    Look at the floor infront of you. Where you look influences the position of your head and neck—and ultimately the rest of your body. Find a spot on the floor about 10 feet in front of you. Gaze at this point for the entire duration of your set.

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