A squat is one of the most common of all exercises and for good reason. Squats are the gold standard when it comes to getting a toned butt and thighs. There are also a lot of myths about how to do the perfect squat.
If you are looking at building strength for everyday life (or as we call it these days functional training) you can’t go walking around bracing your stomach muscles every time you bend your knees. Muscles respond to movements. If you are squatting and getting back pain chances are you are not lengthening your stomach muscles. To naturally lengthen your abs look to the ceiling or lift your arms up as you squat. This will take the pressure off your back and challenge those tummy muscles.
The only danger if you let your knees go in front of your toe line is an increase of force on your knee joint. This will only be an issue if you don’t have enough range of motion at your ankles. You will know if that is the case if your heels peel up off the floor as you squat. To overcome this do a few ankle mobilisation exercises before you squat. And focus on keeping a majority of your weight in your heels as you go down.
Some people believe that a deep squat puts too much pressure on your spine. However, the truth is we are designed to squat deeply. Problem arise when we don’t have enough range of motion in our hips and our lower back comes into play. Always start with a few hip mobilisation exercises to increase the range of motion and focus on sticking your bottom out as you go down.