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What Everybody Ought to Know About Exercise Squats

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Squats have the stigma of being painful, hard work and just too tiring! However, you may not realise the potential of this exercise. In everyday life, you actually squat more than you realise. For instance, crouching to pick up your child, using the loo, and getting in and out of bed. You may experience sore or stiff knees and lower back pain and squatting can actually help with these problems. Squats are such an easy exercise to do at home; they release good hormones in the body and even give you a nice, tight posterior.

Top Tips for Exercise Squats

Ideally, always ask a trained professional to guide and give you feedback on your squat position whilst following these instructions:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder/hip width apart.
  • Squat down in a controlled way.  You can change the speed but ensure your movement is always controlled.
  • Exhale after the major effort on the ascent.
  • Ensure your back posture is in the correct alignment with your spine erect.  Check your posture in the mirror or ask someone to watch.
  • You should only go as low as you feel comfortable.  As you continue, you can then deepen your squat and increase your weight.  However, if you feel any pain, stop!
  • With your feet flat on the floor watch for any rolling in or out around your ankles or your knees.  If this happens, your footwear may need adjusting.  You may also need to do some flexibility exercises!
  • Knees should not go beyond your toes and you should push back into your heels. Ensure that your knees are pointing the same way as your feet.
  • Your back should be straight and your pelvis should go into an anterior pelvic tilt, like you are sitting down into a chair.
  • Ensure that you remain in a good posture or stop the exercise. Training when fatigued can lead to mistakes being made and injuries caused.

If you’ve previously had knee to lower back pain, check with your physiotherapist whether a squat is a good exercise for you to do. Should you have back, knee or any pain whilst doing a squat then it’s a good idea to have a full body assessment.  One of our chartered physiotherapists can visit you within your home or work place.  Call us on 0207 884 0374 or email us at