woman showing proper squat form

MOVE

Strengthen your body with squats

The squat is one of the all-around best exercises to do for your lower body. It strengthens and tones muscles in your thighs, butt and calves and improves posture, balance, flexibility and inner core strength. Squatting also improves bone mineral density to keep your bones strong.

Include squats in your exercise routine two to three days a week to reap the benefits from this dynamite move. Rest at least one day to allow muscle recovery. 

Squatting form

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly outward with your shoulders back and relaxed.

2. Keep your shoulders level, then slowly squat down by pushing your hips back and bending at your knees.

3. Hold the position for two seconds, then slowly stand up again.

4. To complete one set, repeat this movement 10 to 15 times with no rest between reps.

5. Rest 30 to 60 seconds.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for two to three more sets of the exercises.  

Squatting tips

  • Prior to squatting, perform a light warm up of five to 10 minutes of light cardio, like walking or climbing stairs.
  • Throughout the squat movement, tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your torso as upright as possible while maintaining a natural arch in your back.
  • Your feet should be flat on the floor with your weight on your heels. If your weight is distributed correctly you should be able to wiggle your toes at any point during the squat.
  • Try not to extend your knees beyond your toes. If you find your knees are going too far forward, try pushing your hips back more.
  • Do slow, gentle stretching after you are done squatting.

Like any exercise, it's important to speak with your provider before starting squatting to ensure there are no medical restrictions.

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