W10 performance gym

Q&A: Expert Commentary From W10 Performance

question Beginners Guide to the Squat

answer What is it?

The squat is hailed, by some, as the king of all exercises and I don’t mind admitting that it’s my favourite lift. The squat is fantastic at developing strength in the lower body and there are studies to show that squat strength can have a positive effect on everything from sprint speed to jump height. All in all, the squat goes a long way to making you more athletic.

Why do we use it?

Full range squats have many benefits and by full range I mean all the way down, ass to grass as they are often referred to. Full range squats demand good mobility at the ankle, knee and hip whilst developing strength in the quads, hamstrings, glutes and lower back.
In our opinion everybody should aim to be able to perform a perfect squat and our programs are designed to lead you to this as we feel that the squat is an important training tool for everyone regardless of your goal. It builds total body strength whilst maintaining good mobility.

5 tips to help your squat.

1. Keep your weight on your heels – Learning to sit back and use your glutes is very important in the squat by keeping your weight on your heels you encourage this.
2. Knees out – As you sit down its important that you get your knees out of the way to allow you to get all the way down.
3. Chest up – You’re only as strong as your weakest link and while the squat is a lower body dominant exercise it does ask a lot of your back. Keeping your chest up is a good way to ensure you don’t melt like an ice cream.
4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together – More often than not people will fail the squat in the upper back before the legs and much like in tip 3 squeezing your shoulder blades helps keep the upper back tight and strong throughout the movement.
5. Stand up like you mean it – whenever you are trying to build strength you are essentially teaching your body to recruit more muscle to help you lift more weight and you’re not going to do this by standing up like a lethargic sloth. So stand up like your life depended on it!!

W10 Performance, 202-208 Kensal Road, W10 5BN; www.w10performancegym.com; 020 3489 5428

Fitness Professionals