1-2-3 Squatting Made Simple

Arnold and Draper Squatting

Arnold and Draper Squatting

I’m gonna teach you how to squat. It won’t be fancy and we’re not gonna go through all the variations. Squatting is pretty simple, but its a hard test of your will when you start adding pounds to the bar. The problem is most people have really just forgotten how. I think this is where I'm supposed to put the obligatory cliche photo of a toddler squatting perfectly. But I won't.

The Setup

Stand tall with your feet about shoulder width apart. People over six foot may prefer to be place their feet just wider than their shoulders, but not much. Point your toes out a bit, thirty to forty five degrees should work. Find something comfortable for yourself. Alright now we’re ready.

1. Knees Out

As you initiate movement push your knees out wide so they travel in the same direction as your toes. You may need to think about relaxing your groin to make space for your hips to move between your legs. Squats happen between our legs not on top of them.

2. Sit Back

Simultaneously as you push your knees wide you will sit back with your hips. Really push your butt back so that your weight is distributed over your entire foot and primarily onto the heels. Continue this until you’ve reached a point where the tops of your thighs are below parallel with floor.

3. Chest Up

Keep your back tight from the sacrum up. This will put an arch in your lumbar spine and require you to squeeze your scapula back and together. The chest will be lifted and spread. Maintain this tightness throughout the movement.

Stand Up

Once you’ve reached your limit of squat depth while maintaining a tight back, you will initiate the upward movement by driving the heels into the ground and squeezing from your backside. Do so until you reach the top or find yourself buried under the bar.

Breath It Out

If you have blood pressure issues disregard this. If you’re healthy take advantage of your breath to drive up your Personal Records (PRs). By that I mean take one breath for one squat. In between reps you can take as many breaths as you need, but before each repetition take one big breath, push it into your abdomen, and don’t breath it out until you reach at least half way back to the top. At which point you should exhale forcefully enough to cause your ribs and belly to tighten up even more than they already were.

That’s it. Go squat.