I would like to thank Heather McAlpine, my good friend and Running Clinic Instructor, for contributing to this article.
Squats!! Volumes have been written about this multi-faceted exercise. The purpose of this article is to attempt to dispel 3 of the most common Squat myths and to reinforce why Squats are the most effective leg-core exercise ever invented. Bar none!!
Myth #1 - Squats are bad for your knees.
Squats, as long as they are performed in a full range of motion (knee joint parallel or below parallel with the hip joint) will accomplish the objective of strengthening the surrounding muscles and increase the knee joint integrity.
Myth #2 - Squats are detrimental to your spine.
Once again, technique is paramount to dispelling this myth. Keep your chin up, your abdomen wall flexed and your back straight. This will help position you so the weight is carried directly over your spinal column muscles. You will engage and therefore strengthen the leg, core and back area safely and efficiently.
Myth #3 - Squats will make your legs big.
Mass is usually a byproduct of heavy weights and low reps. Conversely, a high rep (16 to 24), light weight regimen will : tone, condition and increase only lean muscle fibre.
Description and Execution of a Squat:
1) Lift the bar out of the rack, stand and hold on the upper trap area with your chin up.
2) Take a deep breath, tighten your ab muscles, bend your knees and slowly assume a seated position-Controlled.
3) When your hip joint drops below your knee joint (thus, below parallel) explode to original standing position!!
4) Repeat until failure.
5) Prepare for the benefits of new-found strength and lean muscle fibre.
When performed properly (see above), squats are tremendously beneficial to any/all leg and core workouts. Squats will increase strength, stability and thoroughly work the lower body more effectively than any other exercise!!
( Jody Cranston / Article ).
( Article originally published in URBAN TRENDZ MAGAZINE ).