Doing squats at home is a great way to get into shape. There are many benefits to doing squats, starting with your legs, which support your body weight. When you add dumbbells or a barbell to your squat, your legs benefit even more by the added resistance. Squats also utilize your abdominal muscles and lower back because each are held tight during the movements to stabilize the body. Your arms also get a great workout when you squeeze the barbell or dumbbells.
Things You'll Need
- Loose or comfortable clothing and proper footwear
- Barbell or two dumbbells, if desired
Stand with your feet at least shoulder-width apart. Keeping your feet this far apart will give you a sturdy stance to prevent injury. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in tightly and your back straight.
If you choose to use dumbbells, hold one in each hand and keep your arms straight down at your sides.
If you are using a barbell, hold the it high on the back of your shoulders, grasping it firmly, while it is still on the rack. When ready, remove the barbell from the rack.
Lower your body down toward the floor with your feet planted firmly and your back straight. Your knees should go over you feet, but not past your toes. If you are holding dumbbells, keep the your arms straight at your sides when you squat. If you are using a barbell, it should remain on your shoulders as you squat.
Raise your body back up, using your legs, into a standing position. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you stand straight.
If you are not using extra weight during your squats and you feel you need more balance, bring your arms in front of you in a praying motion as you lower yourself down into a squat.
Repeat eight to 10 times for beginners. Increase your repetitions as you see fit.
Tips & Warnings
- Always keep your head facing forward, your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
- Your knees should always point in the same direction as your feet.
- Use a spotter if you can to help avoid injury.
- Photo Credit the leg image by Rich Johnson from Fotolia.com girl exercise in health club image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com
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