Which Of The Following Is An Example Of Moving Properly For A Basic Squat? ?

Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — Written by Sara Lindberg on September 11, 2019

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The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise that requires several muscles in your upper and lower body to work together simultaneously.

Many of these muscles help power you through daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, bending, or carrying heavy loads. They also help you perform athletic-related activities.

Adding squats to your workouts can help boost your exercise performance, decrease your risk of injury, and keep you moving more easily throughout the day. But these are just a few of the benefits.

Keep reading to learn more about the rewards you can reap from doing squats and variations you can try for added benefits.

What muscles do squats work?

If there’s one exercise that has the ability to challenge most of the muscles in your body, it’s the squat.

The obvious muscles targeted are in the lower body, but in order to do this compound exercise correctly, you also need to use several muscles above your waist.

The lower muscles targeted in a squat include your:

hip flexors

In addition to the lower body, the squat also targets your core muscles. These muscles include the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae.

If you do a back squat or overhead squat, you’ll also work the muscles in your shoulders, arms, chest, and back.

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How to do a basic squat

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Known as a bodyweight squat or an air squat, the most basic type of squat uses just your body weight for resistance. Variations of the squat can include weights, like barbells or dumbbells, resistance bands, or yoga balls.

To do a basic squat:

Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, engage your abdominals, and shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back into a sitting position.Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. You should feel the squat in your thighs and glutes.Pause with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes.Exhale and push back up to the starting position.

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What are the benefits of doing squats?

The list of squat benefits is lengthy, but to summarize and point out the top picks, here are seven key benefits of doing squats.

1. Strengthens your core

Having strong core muscles can make everyday movements like turning, bending, and even standing easier. Not only that, but a strong core can improve your balance, ease pain in your low back, and also make it easier to maintain good posture.

A 2018 study that compared core muscle activation during a plank with back squats found that back squats resulted in greater activation of the muscles that support your back.

Based on these findings, the researchers recommended targeting the core muscles with back squats to reduce the risk of injury and to boost athletic performance.

2. Reduces the risk of injury

When you strengthen the muscles in your lower body, you’re better able to execute full-body movements with correct form, balance, mobility, and posture.

Plus, incorporating squats in your overall workout routine also helps strengthen your tendons, ligaments, and bones, which, according to the American Council on Exercise, may help reduce your risk of injury.

3. Crushes calories

Calorie burning is often equated with aerobic exercises such as running or cycling. But performing high-intensity, compound movements like the squat can also crush some serious calories.

For example, according to Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person can burn approximately 223 calories doing 30-minutes of vigorous strength or weight training exercises, like squats.

4. Strengthens the muscles of your lower body

Your lower body boasts some of your largest and most powerful muscles.

From getting out of bed, to sitting down in a chair, your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and calves are responsible for almost every move you make.

Strength training exercises like squats can help strengthen and tone the muscles in your lower body. When these muscles are in good condition, you may find that you can move more comfortably, with less pain, and that everything from walking to bending to exercising is easier to do.

5. Boosts athletic ability and strength

If you compete in a sport, adding jump squats to your workout may help you develop explosive strength and speed which, in turn, may help improve your athletic performance.

A 2016 study investigated the effects of jump squat training done 3 times a week over the course of 8 weeks.

Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that jump squat training has the ability to improve several different athletic performances simultaneously, including sprint time and explosive strength.

6. Variety helps with motivation

Once you master the basic squat, there are many different types of squat variations you can try. Changing up your squats can help keep the exercise interesting, while also activating different muscle groups.

Squats can be done with just your body weight. They can also be done with weights, like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or medicine balls, or with resistance bands or yoga balls.

7. Can be done anywhere

To do bodyweight squats, you don’t need any equipment. All you need is your body and enough room to lower your hips into a sitting position.

And, if you’re pressed for time, you can still benefit many muscle groups by doing 50 squats a day: Try doing 25 in the morning and 25 at night. As you get stronger, add 25 to the afternoon.

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