Squats are one of the most important exercises you can incorporate into your work out. If you are performing the exercise correctly, a squat activates the muscles of the lower and upper half of your body. Physiologically, squats are good for muscles and your brain. They also give great shape to your gluts, but no one notices that… Back to gluts in a moment though.
Since the squat is a complex exercise with many moving parts, it’s important to talk to your trainer or health professional about proper technique. Without proper technique and guidance, you are extremely prone to injury, especially to the knees and lower back. For this blogs sake, let’s say you’ve done your homework, and you know proper technique through Youtube videos. You might hear the trainers on the videos say, “KEEP YOUR KNEES OUT!!!!!” if you watching an intense workout video.
You might think to yourself “Why do I keep hearing this?” Instead of thinking of keeping your knees out, think about externally rotating your hip joints (hips move away from mid line). Your hip joint is made by the articulation of two components: the femoral head and acetabulum of the ilium. Make sure you get a good look at your hip joint. Being able to envision your hip joint will help you perform this particular movement. It’s similar to concentrating on your biceps as you do a curl. If you are able to envision a activated muscle during an exercise, you’ll benefit more.
Before you squat, I want you to externally rotate both hip joints. When doing this motion, your feet will remain stationary, and you’ll feel your glutes activate if done correctly. Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart and externally rotate your hips while touching your glutes (best done in comfort of your own home). You should actively feel your glutes tense up. Activating your glutes before you start the descent of the squat will prime the muscles needed to perform your best squat. Biomechanically, external rotation will properly align your knees and ankles while performing a squat.
Also externally rotating your hip joints will help KEEP YOUR KNEES OUT!
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