- squatting are among the most common exercises to train the buttocks and leg muscles.
The basic version can give excellent results but if, once you have reached a good level of training you want to intensify the effort, there are several mobility exercises capable of deepening squats.
Squats are considered isotonic exercises, which differ from isometrics.
How squats are performed
To do squats correctly, you have to stand up, with the legs in line with the width of the shoulders and the tips of the feet pointing slightly open outwards. From here we must lower, bending the knees until the thighs are parallel to the floor.
After holding the position for a few seconds, you must return to the starting position.
To do them correctly:
- during all phases of the squat keep your back straight,
- carry weight on your heels,
- make sure your knees never go beyond your toes.
Benefits and frequency of execution
Besides tone buttocks and lower limb muscles, do squats regularly improves endurance, coordination and balance, and increases bone density decreasing the risk of osteoporosis.
One of the advantages of squats is the fact that they can be performed at any time and place and that to get them it is not necessary to have tools or weights. The latter, as well as a barbell, can be added to increase the intensity or make variations but are not essential at all.
Prima to start doing squats it is essential to play a small one warm-up session, to stretch and warm the affected muscles for higher effort. This reduces the risk of injury.
For the beginners better not to overdo it, but limit yourself to 2- 3 sets of 10-12 squats, about 2-3 times a week. As time goes by and your training level improves, you can increase both intensity and frequency of training.
Be careful not to put too much pressure on your knees. Here's how to protect them while doing squats.
How to make squats deeper
It is often thought that only the use of the barbell can significantly affect the improvement of this aspect but this is not the case. There are, in fact, specific mobility exercises to do it.
There are also two variations of squats: thrust squats and burpees.
If you are doing the Bulgarian split squats, beware of these mistakes.
- Stand upright and with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and a weight held in front of you with both hands.
- Push your hips back and lower into a squat, bending your knees.
- Bend your pelvis and squat as low as possible, keeping your feet rooted in the ground.
- Place your hands in a prayer position in front of your chest and press your elbows to the inside of your thighs to open your hips.
- Maintain the position for a few seconds.
- As you lower yourself, push your knees out and keep your spine straight. Feel free to lift and shake your legs as needed, gradually increasing the time spent squatting, in the latter part of the squat.
Squat with rotation of the thoracic spine
- Kneel on the ground.
- With your feet bent, rest your buttocks on your heels.
- Stretch your arms forward along the floor.
- Bring your right hand behind your head, bending your elbow.
- Keeping the rest of the body still, raise the elbow towards the ceiling, rotating slightly.
- Pause for a second in that position, then lower your elbow to head level.
- Once you have finished all repetitions on one side, switch to the other side and repeat the sequence of movements.
Kneeling half hip flexor stretch
- Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and your back straight.
- Bring the right heel in front of the body approximately 30 inches, forming a 90 degree angle with the front knee.
- Slowly lean forward, lowering your pelvis until you feel a stretch in the front of your left hip.
- Hold the position for a few seconds, then switch sides and repeat the sequence of movements.
As you shift your weight forward, avoid tilting the torso. Instead, use the pelvic tilt to increase the hip stretch.
Stretching dell'anca 90/90
- Sit on the ground with your palms flat on the floor, one knee bent in front of you at 90 degrees and the other bent behind you at 90 degrees.
- Raise both knees and turn towards the leg bent back, keeping the heels planted on the ground.
- Alternate the movements towards the two legs 10 times.
Wall ankle stretch
This exercise consists of performing a lunge in front of a wall, with your toes touching it.
- Stand on the ground, with one leg in front of the other and the knee raised.
- Bend towards the front leg, pushing the front knee forward until it touches the wall and you feel a stretch in the ankle.
- Stop in this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
- After performing 10 repetitions on one side, switch legs and repeat the sequence of movements.