Starting my fitness journey a few years back, I remember that learning how to squat was the most important thing to me. It’s all over social media. Fit chicks with the perfect butts, squatting heavy weight, making it look like the easiest thing in the world to do. Well, it wasn’t.
I was introduced to weight lifting when I was playing soccer in college. I remember very clearly the feeling of struggling with just trying to hold the bar on my back, let alone squatting it. I couldn’t understand how a soccer player with massive legs couldn’t even squat 45 pounds (the weight of the bar). I had no idea, that first, I was lacking the shoulder mobility to hold the bar properly, which was causing my major discomfort. I had no knowledge of form either. All I knew was that my teammates were putting weight on the bar and there I was wanting to cry just from holding it. Clearly, life was rough.
Until I started actually becoming interested in weight lifting and doing my own research, I had no idea there were ways to work up to doing a back squat.
Below is a video on different exercises you can try if you’re just beginning to experiment with squatting, then worked up to a back squat. The most important thing is to start off slow & practice your form. Get your body familiar with the movement.
Tips for squat beginners:
- Start with your feet about hip width apart, slightly pointed outwards.
- Go down into your squat as if your about to sit in a chair.
- Make sure your knees are not coming over your toes.
- Chest up, with your head in a neutral position. Keep your chin tucked.
- Keep your spine in a neutral position, meaning don’t round your back or arch your spine.
- Make sure your heels are planted into the floor, pushing through them the entire time.
- Keep your knees from caving in. A trainer once told me to pretend as if I’m shredding a piece of paper in half with my feet.
- Keep your core tight & really drive up with your legs when coming back to the starting position.