The Squat is an excellent upper and lower body workout . They can be performed without or with weight.

Squats tone and strengthen the Legs by engaging the quadriceps, hamstrings and the calf muscles, the slower the motion the more intense the exercise. Strong legs are crucial for staying maneuverable as we get older, and squats are fantastic for increasing leg strength. Lifts the butt by the glutes tightening during the motion to increase this effect give an extra squeeze on the way up to standing position. Core strengthening by engaging the abs and back muscles to keep your balance during the move. When performing the squat make sure to hold in your abdominal muscles. By working your stabilizing muscles, in returns help improve communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which also helps prevent falls as we get older. Flexibility increases the joints, the ankles, knees, hips and lower back and they are applied during the motion of the squat. By improving your flexibility this helps prevent injuries of the weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. Although if you feel any pain in these areas stop doing the exercise until the pain is gone. When you add weights to your squats this engages the upper body, giving yourself a full body workout. One of the most efficient ways to burn more calories and gain muscles. Weights can be a barbell, dumbbells, kettle ball, weighted ball or a weight vest. Always start light and increase your weight slowly as your strength increases. A little note; squats help boost your performance in sports. Studies have shown that they strengthen athletic abilities to run faster and jump higher.

Proper Form for Squats

Stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart. Begin lowering your body by breaking at the hips first. Focus on lowering your butt down (push your butt and back down). Keep your back straight and eyes looking ahead. Slowly rise up by pushing your hips forward .

If you squat with a barbell, pull your shoulder blades back, to create a “shelf” of muscle (the upper back muscles) where you can rest the barbell. Make sure it is NOT on your neck. If you have a single dumbbell or kettle bell, hold it with both hands in front of you or 2 dumbbells to sides.

Never let your knees extend beyond your toes, as this will increase the likelihood of damage to the patellar tendon and ligament in the knee.