I love, love, love the squat. Why? Because it’s simple and effective and it is a great compound exercise, which means it works several muscles at once. In this case, the squat works the muscles in your butt, hips, and thighs like crazy. It also gives you a little core work as well. The squat is great for at-home and no equipment routines.
According to Fitday this is how to do a common squat (also, check out the baby below for a view at perfect form):
- Stand with your feet hip width apart.
- Tighten and pull in your abdominal muscles.
- Lower your body as if you were going to sit in a chair (if you have a chair available and you aren’t sure you have correct form, use it as a guide). Keep the motion slow.
- Stop when your legs are parallel to the floor.
- Stay in this position for a few seconds.
- Now press down onto your heels and slowly rise back up to a standing position.
- Repeat the exercise for a total of 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
- Be sure to rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.
Once you’re comfortable with doing squats, you can increase the difficulty and make it a full body workout by adding weights. Try holding dumbbells, a kettlebell, or weighted ball at shoulder level or use a barbell across your shoulders. You can also use one dumbbell; hold it in front of you with both hands while squatting. It’s especially important to maintain proper form when using weights. Keep your knees aligned with your feet and don’t squat beyond the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.