Squats are an amazing exercise for toning up your hips, thighs and butt. They look pretty simple, but it’s essential that you do them properly to prevent injury and maximise their effectiveness.
You don’t need any equipment and they don’t take a lot of space.
Here’s how they are done:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Sit back, and down as if you are lowering yourself into a chair. You can extend your arms out in front of you to help you keep your balance.
- Keep your chest upright – don’t bend forward. Push your hips backwards, pressing your weight back into your heels as you lower yourself. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes.
- Lower youself as far as you can – try to get your butt parallel to your knees. NEVER go lower than this. If you can’t get that low, just go as low as you can manage.
- Keeping your weight in your heels, push your body back to the starting position.
- Stand sideways to a mirror and check your form. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes.
- Keep your chest up.
- If you want to make it more difficult, you can hold hand weights or add a barbell across your shoulders.
Start with 10 reps and repeat them 3 times. Gradually increase your reps – 12…15..20. Focus on your form, and getting the squat correct before you increase your reps.
Neen Monty is NOT a personal trainer…but she’s often called a gym junky, fitness fanatic and health nut. She’s a single mother of two, and knows how challenging it can be to find the time to exercise. Since her diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis five years ago, appropriate exercise has been part of her treatment regime and she is a firm believer in finding a form of exercise that suits your level of fitness, general health and interests.