The Proper Way to Do Squats to Protect Your Joints
Squats are highly-touted for their remarkable ability to tone the buttocks, thighs, and hamstrings. They are also great for increasing balance and heart rate. However, some individuals may think that they will never be able to do squats without pain due to weak knee and hip joints. Depending on the severity of the knee joint issues, there are some individuals who may in fact have to choose an alternative to squats. But before you say goodbye to squats for good, consider the fact that you may be experiencing pain because of improper form. If you want to enjoy the many body-shaping benefits that squats can offer, here is some helpful information about how to do squats correctly and protect your joints.
There are several different types of squats that you can do, and each type requires a different form and technique in order to protect the knee joint. For regular squats, be sure to follow these steps in order to achieve proper form and protect your knees:
- Stand with your feet turned slightly outward, hip-width apart
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and concentrate on straightening your back
- Slowly squat down as if a low chair is located behind you
- Keep your weight back as you squat, and make sure your knees stay in line with your feet
- As you squat, make sure your heels stay on the floor as you sink down until your thighs are parallel with the floor
- Slowly return to a standing position by pushing from your heels and squeezing your buttocks
When you are performing a squat, it is very important that you are always able to see your toes. If your knees go forward and construct your view of your toes, then you are putting too much pressure on the knee joints and you could end up damaging them.
If you need extra support while squatting, you may want to begin with a chair squat. Instead of imagining that you are sitting on a chair, you really will sit onto the edge of a chair, which helps to relieve some of the stress on your joints and makes it easier for you to complete the motion. For proper form, follow these steps when completing a chair squat:
- Place a chair or bench behind you
- Turn your back to the chair or bench and step forward so that you are approximately one foot away from the chair or bench
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and turn your toes slightly outward
- With a slow and controlled movement, squat down and touch your buttocks to the chair, then pause for a moment before slowly rising again. As with regular squats, you need to make sure that you can always see your toes while doing chair squats in order to protect your knee joints.
Perform two sets of 10 chair squats to start out, and then increase the repetitions over time as long as you don’t feel pain in the knee joints.
For even greater support, you can also perform a squat with an exercise ball between a wall and your back. The most important thing to remember is to complete the squat movement slowly, make sure you keep your spine straight, and don’t let your knees go past your toes.
Feel free to contact Ella Gray at [email protected] with any questions that you may have.