The S.W.A.T acronym stands for ‘Specialised Weaponry and Tactics’….and that is definitely one way to describe the exercise of SQUATS!
Squats are Specialised, because you need to get them right, as bad technique can cause injury, in particular to knees and backs.
Squats are great Weaponry to have in your exercise repertoire because they’re so efficient at targeting several big muscle groups, perfect for keeping your legs and bum super strong.
Squats need precise Tactics, small alterations to technique, timing & duration can make a huge difference to the muscles being worked and the results achieved.
A squat is a fundamental human movement, seen to perfection in babies and toddlers, yet over time muscle tightness and imbalances impairs squatting ability. If you want to keep the functionality and tone of your lower body, this movement should be part of your exercise sessions and there is a huge amount of variations to chose from.
Heres how to do a basic squat:
Stand with feet between hip distance and shoulder width apart, keep knees soft and tuck your tail bone under, place hands on the hips or hold them out front in a prayer position or arms outstretched. Take a breath in and draw the abdominals gently in towards the spine, then on the exhale bend your knees down into a 90 degree angle. Make sure your knees do not travel forward over your toes by pushing your weight back and into the heels. Your back needs to be in a neutral position with your chest and head lifted, i.e. don’t bend over with your torso, keeping your eyes looking forward will help you do this. At the lowest point take another breath and lift back up into standing without locking your knees or pushing your hips forward. Try to give your bum a little extra squeeze as you return to standing. Take another breath in and repeat.
So, put the magazine down, drop & gimme 20!
This article has been published in the August edition of Life Magazines – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk